Whether your Valentine’s Day plans include a romantic dinner with a longtime lover, or just an evening in with Netflix and the cat (holla!), there are some great reads that will help put you in the mood for love. Or, at least, give you a laugh or two. There are a number of books to read on Valentine’s Day, regardless of your relationship status. Whether you’re obsessed with the holiday or more of a V-Day scrooge, there’s a read you can relate to here.
These stories cover everything from fantastic, fairy tales to more modern takes on love in the time of Internet dating. And if you’re not in the mood for love stories, there are also books that cater to other loves in your life, like travel and television. There’s even a particularly biting book that takes the entire holiday down a couple notches. Whether you want to spend the day lost in a romantic daydream or trying to forget the holiday entirely, these reads can help you achieve your Valentine’s Day goals.
Overall, books don’t care if you’re single, dating, married, or divorced. Books understand. And even if you aren’t feeling the love this year, take heart: all of the candy goes on sale tomorrow. Reading and discount chocolates? Yes, please!
1. If You're In A New Relationship
Rival magicians at the unique Le Cirque des Rêves, Celia and Marco trigger some unusual consequences when they fall in love. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern covers the story of their romance amid the world of a fantastical circus.
2. If You're Trying Online Dating
If you just made a Tinder profile, then A Passionate Love Affair With A Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson might be a perfect match. After hitting a career roadblock, Charley launches her own business by ghostwriting for people on dating websites. But when she starts falling for one of her clients' online suitors, her world gets turned upside-down. Hopefully you won't suffer a similar fate
3. If You're Newly Married
The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger details a multi-cultural marriage and the complexities that it entails. After meeting online, Amina, a woman from Bangladesh, and George, a man from New York, marry and attempt to sort out the many details of their complex relationship.
4. If You're In A Long-Distance Relationship
After a chance encounter in a Manhattan elevator, Lucy and Owen stay in touch as they move about the world. Whether one of them is in Scotland, Prague, or Portland, they learn that distance can't stop their affections for one another. Jennifer E. Smith's The Geography of You and Me follows this pair across the years and continents.
5. If You're Single
Why not spend your Valentine's Day planning out a great adventure? Traveling solo can be wonderfully exciting, and you get to decide everything about the trip. Whether you're interested in venturing abroad or just a few hours away, The Solo Traveler's Handbook by Janice Leith Waug can help you get there with confidence.
6. If It's Complicated
Julia Kent's It's Complicated follows the stories of Josie, who hooks up with an obstetrician while her best friend is in labor, and a doctor who tries to make sense of this unexpected encounter. Your love life will probably seem pretty normal in comparison to this romantic comedy read.
7. If Netflix Is Your BAE
If your queue needs some fresh flicks, then 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die by Ian Haydn Smith and Steven Jay Schneider is a great companion. It covers classic older films, foreign masterpieces, and a few gems you've probably never heard about.
8. If You're Married With Kids
Elizabeth LaBan's The Restaurant Critic's Wife follows Lila, an educated woman with two kids, and her husband Sam, who is a restaurant critic obsessed with keeping his identity a secret. Lila has to contend with the demands of family life and her own desire to regain her identity.
9. If You Despise Valentine's Day
There really is a perfect book for every situation. If you're ver the holiday, then J. More's The Anti-Valentine's Handbook can be a perfect date. With a humorous take-down of its sentimental trappings, this book offers readers a bit of relief from all the V-Day silliness.
10. If You Have A History
The Japanese Lover, a novel by Isabel Allende, is an epic love story that ranges from present-day America to WWII Poland. In 1939, a young woman in San Francisco and the quiet son of a Japanese gardener fall in love, but the effects of war and time pull them apart. But love has a way of persevering.
11. If You're A Couple Who Shares Everything
If you'd like to share your Valentine's Day read with your sweetie, then What I Love About You by Kate and David Marshall is a fun choice. By completing fun checklists and questions (such as "I adore this little daily ritual or habit we have . . ."), you can get to know one another better than ever.
12. If You Dream Of An Old-Fashioned Romance
If you can't get enough Regency romance, then Jane Austen's classic Sense and Sensibility is impossible to top. This story concerns the ago-old question of choosing between reason and passion in this comedy of manners.
13. If You're A Hopeless Romantic
Although the stories in Simon Van Booy's The Secret Lives of People in Love are slight, their effects will linger with you long after you've read them. Resilient in the face of overwhelming circumstances, these characters experience love and loss in beautiful and poetic prose.