> Queer Books Please: This Valentine's Day, get her a book!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

This Valentine's Day, get her a book!

It's almost Valentine's Day, and you want to get your girlfriend/sweetie/partner/lover/secret crush a gift that will prove your love/make her happy/get you laid. Or whatever! You can find lots of guides that'll tell you what to buy. It's pretty much, sexy underwear, delicious chocolate, sexy sex accessories. This is a book blog, so it's no surprise that I think the perfect gift is a book. Here's why:
  1. A carefully selected book shows that you've paid attention to their likes and interests. That doesn't have to be hard. It can be as simple as, you noticed they liked science fiction or maybe they're interested in historical fiction in a certain time period, so you pick up something that's recent well reviewed in those genres. Even if they don't read much, they probably have hobbies that you can mine for inspiration. And don't just think nonfiction in this case. For example, my wife loves knitting. I could get her another book of patterns, but wouldn't it be awesome if I could find her some sort of mystery that incorporated some sort of bad ass knitter detective? (just googled this OH MY GOD HELLO KNITTING MYSTERIES.... now are any of them about lesbians....)
  2. Giving a book also says something about you and your own tastes. And if you're brave, maybe something about your feelings for her. This can be a subtle or overt as you like. Something that caught your eye on the NY Times best sellers list that made you think of her might send the subtle message that she's on your mind. Giving her a book of erotica is a little more direct. Both are valid gift options!
  3. You can buy a book for someone during any stage in a relationship. Jaci (the wife) bought me a book for my birthday before we were officially dating. She gave me The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper. Pretty good book! Not lesbian fiction, not overtly romantic, but the writing was strong (showed me that she had good taste) and it was about a writer (showed she had paid some attention to my interests and hobbies) and it was a BOOK (she knew I loved to read!!!). You can even give your secret crush a book, and pretend that you didn't even know it was Valentine's Day (and then you'll joke about it for years to come, how stealthy you thought you were, etc etc). 
  4. Related to the last point--you're single? Buy yourself a book! Better for you than chocolate, cheaper than good booze. Nothing says appreciating yourself and your wants and needs like getting yourself a book. (And you might even catch the eye of some cutie at the bookstore. Maybe you'll both be reaching for the last copy of something, your hands will touch... you both insist that the other take it. Then, a flash of inspiration! You start it together, right there in the coffee shop, heads bent together.... etc etc).
  5. So much of Valentine's Day is about You and Her--The Couple. Including the gifts. You buy her sexy underwear--that's meant to be seen by you! You buy massage oils--which are totally going to be applied by you. And don't pretend you aren't going to sneak some of that chocolate. Getting her a book is the opportunity to give her something thoughtful and romantic that she can enjoy on her own. I'm not saying you shouldn't do The Couple Thing on Valentine's Day and in general, but a book is one way to celebrate just her, and not just your codepenence.
  6. Plus if you're lucky she'll read the book while wearing the sexy underwear. And that's hot. 
  7. A book can be a great part of a larger experience. Buy your sweetheart a good book, a snuggly blanket, and quality hot chocolate. Or maybe some bubble bath and a bottle of wine. The book is just part of a larger package, one that encourages her to relax and take some time to enjoy herself. 
  8. Be bold! Get her something obscure, something old, a genre maybe she hasn't ever tried. A successful gift is often something that she likes, but didn't even know she wanted, and never would have bought for herself in the first place. 
  9. If you're feeling even bolder, give her a book that you've owned. One that has creases and dog ears, maybe little notes or doodles in the margins. 
  10. Remember that giving a book is a little bit risky. You aren't just grabbing something off the pink and red display table, you're searching your heart for a way to touch hers. You need to be a little courageous. You need to go out on a limb. And yeah, especially if you're gifting a favorite book of yours, you're going to feel a little vulnerable. But I promise you that your sweetheart is going to dig that. Because there's nothing sexier than having someone go that extra mile to find a great, thoughtful gift.

 I hope you feel inspired to go literary and buy some books for your special friend! If you still feel stumped, I'll be posting and pod-casting this weekend with some specific recommendations of books that I think make great gifts.

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