During this Valentine’s Day, I intend on giving my friends and family gifts of some significance. What could be more meaningful and caring than a present from the heart? Is there such a thing you would ask? Yes, there are plenty. But, I immediately think of two: a dedicated song or a book. Valentine’s Day is a perfect holiday to show how much we care for others. Of course, we should do it daily. But sometimes we are busily consumed with life’s problems and responsibilities. Valentine’s Day shouldn’t just be considered a romantic holiday but also an occasion to honor friends, family members, classmates, and even good coworkers. Honestly, when it comes to giving someone the right book then all year-long is Valentine’s Day, not just February 14.
Brands are outstanding creating romantic advertisements for only couples. But how about using this holiday not only on a romantic partner but also for the many other amazing people whom we love as well? I mean, Valentine’s Day has been reinvented in many ways ever since it was created. Do you know the origin of Valentine’s Day? “Google University” explains that Valentine’s Day comes from ancient Roman times. Emperor Claudius II got rid of a priest named Valentine on Feb 14 and to honor him the Catholic Church called February 14 Saint Valentine’s Day. That’s the story.
Claudius thought that single men with no families were better soldiers than those with families. Therefore, he prohibited soldiers from building intimate relationships or getting married. Priest Valentine, however, was a big fan of seeing people in love. Saint Valentine disregarded Claudius’ order and went around secretly marrying young couples in love. Emperor Claudius found out about Priest Valentine and jailed him until his death. Holiday cards favorite part of this story is still present in modern February 14. Google tales are suggesting that Valentine (the priest) also fell in love while in jail with a young girl (This is the Romeo and Juliet episode of the story). He is credited with signing the first love card as “From Your Valentine” on his letters to this girl. A phrase still used today in modernized Valentine’s Day.
Another Google theory, (and this one is my favorite) is that France and England thought Spring began in the middle of February with plants blooming, butterflies flying and birds mating. Could there be anything more romantic than mother nature showing humans how is supposed to be done? Ha! Therefore, the middle of February was considered as the day for “mating.” They probably thought: “Well, if the birds are mating… then how about us? huh?! Those birds can’t have all the fun!” and then that’s how romantic Valentine’s Day was created. Of course, that is just how I translate this version and it makes me think of jazzy Michael Buble singing:
“Birds flying high
You know how I feel
Sun in the sky
You know how I feel
Reeds driftin’ on by
You know how I feel”
Well, you know how I feel… Here is the thing, regardless of the original story from Valentine’s Day. It is a holiday that gives all of us an opportunity to show appreciation, friendship, and love. Yes, this is a highly commercial holiday (between candy, cards, dinners, and flowers; in the United States we spend an estimated 18 billion dollars per year). Great marketing, right? Regardless, I love the idea of celebrating romance, friendship and the many other influential relationships in my life. Romantically, I melt when the right guy brings me pink roses on Valentine’s Day. The marketing campaign works effectively on me with those roses. Ha! My beautiful sister is also my best friend. I love praising her and finding ways saying thank you for her constant support, love, and friendship. She is incredibly valuable and irreplaceable in my life and the person I trust the most. But how can I say thank you for her friendship? In my love language, there are straightforward ways: writing, music, art, and books. On this occasion, I’m choosing a book. “Allow a book to be the messenger of your appreciation.”
Of course, you need to read the chosen book first, before considering the book as the right present. How can you give a book that you don’t know anything about it? Come on guys, let’s be serious. Lucky you! Here is when my list of WithLoveWen’s books for Valentine’s Day comes in handy. I read all of these books and I will give you a small summary to help you choose the right one. You decide which person in your life works best with each book. “My Darling, books are magical.” You could express one hundred messages with one single book. Especially “Thank you, I love you, and I appreciate you.” Let’s start. Imagine that we are both seated at a table, at our favorite coffee shop with a warm drink in hand, while I describe these books for you.
Books For Valentine’s Day:
To make a book meaningful we do a better job when we know people’s private anecdotes. Their interests, tastes, likes, and dislikes. I keep my social circle small, but I’m sure, like me, you know many secret stories from your friends, family, and partner. You probably know whom they love and what dreams keep them up awake at night. Also, what type of fears gives them insomnia and how big or small are their current problems. But also you know what makes them laugh and feel happy. Overall, you are the perfect candidate to surprise this person the right way. I’ll help you.
Writers of Instagram:
What happens when this person is new in our lives and we want to impress them? “Houston, we have a problem?” Well, not really. Lucky for us, we live in a social media era. Which means that each of us is unconsciously volunteering information about our preferences, likes, and enjoyment. The information is there. You just need to pay attention. Follow their social media account. Instagram, for example, is my favorite. Instagram is highly visual and perfect to search for common interests. Check their following list, do they have a favorite author on their list? Now, search if that author has a book. Voila! You just hit jackpot! Imagine their expressions opening this book and realizing that you took the time to care.
Let’s go back to my list, half of these books were discovered while following the authors on Instagram.
1. “Love Her Wild” by Atticus Poetry.
Coincidently, this first book in my list has also become my daily favorite. Atticus has made himself an attractive enigma. He attends his events and lectures and read his favorite poems wearing a mask. His followers agree with me that this mysterious feature adds to his attractiveness on social media. Modern love requires modern poetry and Atticus (as we all call him drooling!) is the king of enigma and love. His poems will put you in the mood to make an effort into finding a healthy relationship with someone who supports your dreams, accept your faults and embraces who you are. Atticus poetry is too beautiful to be described. Some quotes from Atticus Poetry:
“Love her but leave her wild.” by Atticus Poetry
“She wasn’t looking for a knight She was looking for a sword.” by Atticus Poetry
“What good are wings without the courage to fly.” by Atticus Poetry
2- “Letters, to the Men I Have Loved” by Mirtha Michelle Castro Mármol. She has been described as a Latin bombshell and a passionate poet. I don’t know her personally, but I’m very proud of her poetry. She is a Dominican writer with honest, sharp and beautiful poems based on her personal experiences. An empowering and smart woman. My favorite book from her is a dedication to all the men in her life including her grandfather. I would give this perfect book to a friend who is doing perfectly fine on her own after a breakup. One of my favorite poems from Mirtha Michelle.
Your skin is my home.
Warm, Smooth, Perfect – Tone.
Your skin is my home.
Tender, Addictive, Immensely – Whole” (by MMCM)
3 – Humans of New York Stories by Brandon Stanton shares the true daily stories of many New Yorkers and sometimes other parts of the world. It includes photos and storytelling. These stories could make you laugh, cry, fall in love and even inspire you. Of course, this is not a poetry book, but it is equally beautiful. Humans of New York Stories is the best motivational book that I own. These are ordinary citizens, like you and I, sharing their struggles and dreams. On those days when I feel the weight of my problems in my shoulder; I then open this book on a random story from a stranger and realize that it is true, the grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence…until we know their hidden story. I would recommend you give this book to that person who is always helping others, volunteering and caring.
“But there is a comfort, an affirmation, a validation on being exposed to people with similar problems.” by Brandon Stanton, quoted by The New York Times.
4 – Bloom by Beau Taplin – a self-published Instagram writer with the most romantically beautiful poems. His thoughts on love are philosophical. He is an Australian poet who knows how to capture a moment and translate it into words. Perfect for that person who has an honest interpretation of love and who believes that it is all about effort. I have many favorite poems from Beau. Here is one:
Softness is not weakness.
It takes courage to stay delicate
in a world this cruel.” by Beau Taplin
5 – Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur is a collection of beautiful poetry about issues affecting women suffering abuse and violence. Most women have a friend in a toxic relationship. Maybe, the best gift you could give your friend (besides your support), are these beautiful words that empower women and will help her feel brave. This book is to help heal her heart, while you hold her hand as a friend. I have great admiration for Rupi Kaur. She is a warrior. This book is full of courage and strength.
“I do not want to have you
to fill the empty parts of me
I want to be full on my own
I want to be so complete
I could light a whole city
I want to have you
cause the two of us combined
could set it on fire.” by Rupi Kaur
“How you love yourself is
how you teach others
to love you.” by Rupi Kaur
6 – Chasers of the Light: Poems from the Typewriter Series by Tyler Knott Gregson — this book is all about the simple beauty of life. He writes his daily poems-series on a vintage typewriter that he bought on sale, and since then, his writing collection has been magical. You could quickly become a fan of his poetry.
“I would love to say that you make me weak in the knees
but to be quite upfront
and completely truthful
you make my body forget
it has knees at all.” by Tyler Knott Gregson
“Promise me you will not spend
so much time treading water
and trying to keep your head above the waves
that you forget, truly forget,
how much you have, always loved to swim.” by Tyler Knott Gregson
7 – Beautiful Chaos by Robert M. Drake, – His writing collection is unedited and raw. He doesn’t call his writing poetry, and he clarified that these are small excerpts from either a novel or short story. Nonetheless, most of his followers know of him as a poet.
“My scars reminded me
of where I have been,
your scars reminded me
of just how perfect you really are.” by Robert M. Drake
Which other books would you recommend? Hope you’ll find these recommendations helpful. Please share or follow.
Thank you kindly!
With Love, Wen
All opinions are my own.
This post was originally published on 2/13/2018.