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Be My Bookish Valentine?

Ways To Ask Someone to Be Your Bookish Valentine

“Is love an art? Then it requires knowledge and effort.” 
― Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

Valentine’s Day may be the most bookish of holidays. Think about it. What other holiday encourages people memorize Byron, compare each other to a summer’s day, or sweat over the syntax of a note scrawled on a Pokemon themed card pack from CVS? (Who wouldn’t want to spend the Eevee-ning with you?)

February 14th gained its modern day romantic roots from the Father of English Literature during the High Middle Ages. Geoffrey Chaucer didn't only tell bawdy tales and write poetry about mating birds, but also encouraged a bit of courtly love that evolved into the flowers, chocolates, and little notes we're all familiar with today.

So, if the above quote is to be believed, where better to gain knowledge and bond with someone special than over a book? Stories not only help us discover ourselves, but learn a little about each other. Who hasn’t evaluated a potential love interest based on a furtive glance at their bookshelf? 

In honor of its literary roots, here are some ways to ask that special someone to be your bookish Valentine. 

Slip a note into the book they’re reading

Simple but effective. Be sly. Ask to see the book that they’re reading and use some sleight of hand to slip in a little note with check boxes for “yes,” “no,” or “maybe.” If you’re in a pinch, place the note into your own book, feign illiteracy, and ask them to read a passage you’re “struggling” with. 

If you really want to be smooth, make copies of your note and put them in all of your books. Then ask your potential Valentine to pick one, any one. It’s like a magic trick that never fails to amaze. 

Carve out an old book to hold chocolates

How dare ye desecrate a sacred tome?! All is fair in love and homemade V-day gifts. Hollow out those pages in the name of romance and confectionery delights. Combined with the previous suggestion, your special someone can start collecting the whole romantic series.

Note on the photo: Don’t be a jerk and use a library book.

Make a dozen paper roses from pages of their favorite novel

A bit of personal handiwork never goes unappreciated on Valentine’s Day. Download a pattern from the internet, quick draw that glue gun from its holster, and get crafting. 

Again, you have my permission to desecrate a book in the name of love. Just, don’t destroy THEIR copy.

Track down their favorite author and ask them to sign a book with a special V-Day message

This one takes a bit of long-term planning and a whole lot of luck, but if it works, you have a bona-fide Valentine’s Day miracle sure to get you a peck on the cheek. Just make sure the note the author leaves doesn’t sound like THEY’RE asking out your prospective Valentine’s Day companion. Things might get a bit awkward.

Are they a fan of detective novels? Give them a series of clues to find their way to their femme/homme fatale

Just, take it easy on the red herrings. An easy riddle to lead them to the location of their secret admirer works wonder. Maybe circle words on a page to get your riddle across. Avoid the whole letters-cut-from-a-magazine approach since it might send the wrong sort of message.

K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) so they can solve the mystery and reward you with a real smooch.


Dress like a character from their favorite romance novel cover and serenade them at their window (e.g., Fabio singing Mmmmm Bop)

For this you’re going to need:

1. A low cut shirt (this applies to both men and women)

2. High velocity fan

3. Long hair or a wig to flow in the wind created by aforementioned fan

4. Musical instrument/boombox

5. An ocean of confidence and no shame whatsoever It’s also imperative you pick the right song. If they don’t like it, you may end up like Fabio and get hit in the face with a high velocity goose.

A long coat and ghetto blaster are your last resort. Castle backdrop is optional.

With a little courage, knowledge, and effort, you’ll tumble into that romantic ravine with your Valentine whispering “As you wish.”

If they say “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya; you killed my father; prepare to die,” no amount of paper roses and dewey decimal sorted chocolates is going to save you.

Posted by Christopher Urie

Five Awesome Steampunk Adventures

October is usually a time for orange leaves, pumpkins, ghouls, and ghosts. But, I think it should be a month of clockwork trains, aeronautical goggles, and steam-powered machines more amazing than you can imagine. In essence, October is steampunk.

October 15th marks the anniversary of when the New Orleans, the first US steamboat, made the long journey along the mighty Ohio and Mississippi Rivers from Pittsburgh, PA to New Orleans, LA. Owned by Robert Fulton and Robert R. Livingston, and built by Nicholas Roosevelt, the New Orleans was a marvel of its time and ushered in a new way for people to travel in luxury.

In honor of the New Orleans journey, here are 5 ways can have your own steampunk adventure in portable, but sadly not steam-powered, book form.

Posted by Christopher Urie

5 Bookshelf Organizer Archetypes

Image via

Looking at someone's bookshelf is like gazing into the synapses between brain cells. You see something much deeper at work. You get a glimpse into what makes someone tick. The way you arrange your bookshelf is a mysterious art that can reveal the clockwork cogs spinning around in your soul.

Now, there are many different ways to arrange your beloved volumes of literature and knowledge. Each one reveals a secret about yourself. What that secret is can be up for debate, but here are a few archetypes of the bookshelf organizer club. Which one are you?

Posted by Christopher Urie

French 101: The Best Books for Bastille Day

Image by MustangJoe from Pixabay

This Bastille Day, let’s raise a glass of fine (French) wine to some of the most influential French writers of the 20th century. Their thoughts and words helped to shape storytelling, invent new, mystical places, and highlight the hardships of the human condition. These authors have spun tales of fantasy, adventure, and existentialism—and we love them for it. So grab a bottle, relax on a chaise longue, and crack open a book by one of these literary masters. Vive la France!

Posted by Christopher Urie

Three Amazing Do-It-Yourself Bookshelves

Actually building bookshelves for your house or apartment is a wonderfully creative, and sometimes painful, experience. You can adjust the size and design to fit your particular needs, all while discovering the upper limits of your pain tolerance every time you miss a nail.

But when you finally finish lathering on that final coat of lacquer, stand back, and admire your wonderful new home for stories, that euphoria of creation will sweep over you. That beast of a bookshelf was built by you and the sweat off your brow. It is a place for you to proudly display not only your books, but also your craftsmanship.

Note: If you experience too much euphoria after applying the lacquer, open a window.

After exploring some of the deepest recesses of DIY sites, we’ve found you three of the best build-it-yourself bookshelf instructions.

Posted by Christopher Urie

Five of Our Favorite Bookshelves on Etsy

Most readers can build worlds in their minds from simply reading the words on a page. But, sometimes they are not so good a building practical things to store their volumes of words. Some readers know what a hammer is in theory and how it is used in the context of Thor, but they’ve never picked one up at the local hardware store.

What do you do if you want that homemade touch to your bookshelf, but don’t know the difference between flat and phillips head screws? You turn to Etsy.

Thankfully bookshelf creating experts can be found all over Etsy selling their wares. They range from the tiny and cute, to the massive and impractical. What makes it even better is that many of these helpful craftspeople can custom make your shelf to almost any dimension you want. Just not the 4th dimension, they haven’t figured that one out yet.

Here’s a look at some of our favorite bookshelves you can buy on Etsy right now.

Posted by Christopher Urie