Books make great Valentine's Day gifts because, let's face it, they last longer than grocery store flowers, and there's even room to write an inscription.
Our three gift recommendations (for your valentine ... or yourself) are full of text and images, and can be skimmed in a few minutes for a quick smile or read cover-to-cover in about 20 minutes. No need to start the day with, "Hey baby, I'm hitting you up with a little Proust."
Here are our three reads for Valentine's Day no matter what you're feeling: Like
, or Used to Like/Love
1. I Like You by Sandal Stoddard
It's nothing serious, you're not trying to freak anyone out by coming on too strong, you just want to let them know you like their company.
While it's technically a children's story, this little book is charming for anyone you like in your life -- from your BFF's to your grandma.
As the back cover says, "Here is the book that Romeo would have given Juliet; Charlie Brown would have given Snoopy; and you can give to some very special friend."
2. Her Beauty Touches Everything: I Love My Girlfriend by Louis Cannizzaro
Feeling foolishly crazy about your Valentine but don't know how to tell her?
Leave it to artist Louis Cannizzaro to sum it up with simple drawings on scraps of paper and totally sappy sayings, including "She is pure and perfect and she colors her hair with magic markers," and "Beautiful, Beautiful Day. It's one of those mornings when it feels like I'll see her any minute."
Trust us, your girlfriend wants you to write notes like this about her. But at the very least, you could read them aloud.
3. Was She Pretty? By Leanne Shapton
Lastly, everybody's got an ex. This graphic novel boils down relationships to a sentence or two and mixes text and images. Shapton uses line drawings to create pithy vignettes that explore our fascination with the other people our boyfriends or girlfriends used to date. Examples:
"One of the women Len used to know was an opinionated academic. She wore braces and they looked fantastic."
"To his friends, family, and girlfriend, Anton's ex-girlfriend was known only as 'the ballerina'."
This is an original take on our repulsion/attraction with those who came before us.