Thursday, February 11, 2010

Five Valentine Ideas for Book-Lovers

Valentine's Day is this weekend, but why limit the love to people? I challenge book-lovers everywhere to take some time to celebrate their love affair with the written word! So without further ado, I present:

5 Valentine Ideas for Book-Lovers


1. Throw a book-themed party. Choose a book and ask your guests to bring something related to it (or dress like one of the characters!). If not everyone has read it, you might need to prepare a short cheat-sheet for them. (For example: The English Patient: during WWII, a nurse attends to a badly burned, mysterious pilot in an Italian monastery.) Serve a simple menu based on the book's themes or time period and start the party by declaring why you love the book. Invite others to share their opinions (if they've read it) or recommend their own favorite reads.


2. Host a love-story swap. Turn your living room into a Valentine's shrine with roses, red and pink hearts, chocolates, red wine or champagne, strawberries, and anything else that symbolizes love. Ask your guests to bring a copy of their favorite love story (fiction, non-fiction, romance, science fiction: anything goes!). Guests can take turns describing why their love story is the most romantic, and at the end, everyone votes. (Be sure to have a Valentine's-themed prize for the winner!) You can also encourage guests to trade books so that everyone goes home with a new romantic read.

3. Write a love letter to literature. Write a love letter to your favorite book (or character), or to reading itself! You can keep it to yourself, share it with loved ones, or post it on your blog and challenge your readers to write their own. (Mine would begin, "Dear Grapes of Wrath, I am so happy I wasn't required to read you in high school and instead discovered you all on my own. Thank you for drawing me into your world and introducing me to characters that came to feel like old friends.")

4. Design a literary Valentine. Make your own Valentine card based on the cover of your favorite book. (This can be especially fun for children's books.) You can use Photoshop or another image-editing program, or go low-tech and pull out the construction paper and markers.

5. Make your Valentine the star of their own book. There are several ways you can go about making a book starring your loved one(s). You can use software to organize your digital photos into a scrapbook, which you can then get printed. You could also buy a blank book or just staple together paper (or perhaps get a print/copy shop to do the binding for you). For a shortcut, you can also re-purpose a picture book by replacing the text where necessary and pasting in photos of you and your loved one. Depending on your craft expertise, your final product may look slick or endearingly home-made... but whatever the result, it will be a one-of-a-kind gift!

    Have I inspired you to include some book-love in your Valentine's weekend? Or do you have a better idea?

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