Galentine’s Day is just around the corner and no amount of planning and scheming can make up for the fact that the holiday always sneaks up on us.
While we’re over here lobbying calendar makers worldwide to give February 13th the respect it deserves, you’re still wracking your brain for the perfect gift idea. Fear not, friends. We have you covered. Here are our recommendations for bookish (and beautiful) gifts for the Ann Perkins in your life. And all they cost you is your time!
Take her to an author event in your city
Surprise your voracious reader of a Galentine with a calendar of author events at your local library or independent bookstore. Make plans to stave off the winter blues one reading at a time, discovering new authors along the way. It’s a great way to deepen your shared love of literature while adding to your TBR. And where else do you have the opportunity to ask your favorite authors about process? Check out the events page on your local library’s website, or assemble a city-wide calendar by combing through the fliers at your favorite bookstores. We’re partial to the events at Free Library of Philadelphia, of course. If you’re local to the area, we’re sure to see you at the Tayari Jones and Stephanie Powell Watts event on Galentine’s Day itself.
Make her a bookish playlist
Channel all the literary references you can muster because you’re making your Galentine a mixtape. Well, not a mixtape. More like a Spotify playlist. Playlists are famously delicate; one wrong song and the whole thing feels off balance. But you know your Galentine and the bookish tunes she loves to groove to. Start with “1984” by David Bowie (a nod to the George Orwell classic), transition to “Holland, 1945” by Neutral Milk Hotel (which references Anne Frank and her diary), sprinkle in “My Antonia” by Emmylou Harris (Willa Cather, anyone?), and end with the Game of Thrones theme.
If you’re being really ambitious, turn your Galentine onto the music of The Bushwick Book Club in Seattle. The group is made up of solo artists and bands who’ve transformed their love of literature into a full-scale project, writing songs inspired by their book club picks. Since 2010, the group has translated nearly 80 books into song, including Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell, and Wild by Cheryl Strayed.
Indulge in some literary tourism
Take advantage of your city and the inspiration writers have taken from it. It’s time for a literary tourism scavenger hunt. (You know Leslie Knope would approve.) If Los Angeles is the place you call home, it’s time to try every hamburger in the city in anticipation of Amy Spalding’s The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles). If Hawaii is where you hang, it’s time to run through your favorite beaches just like Maddy and Olly did in Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything.
Wherever you call home, you’re sure to find a geographic touchstone for one of her favorite characters. And if that story doesn’t exist yet, it’s time to make room for it. We can’t think of a better Galentine’s Day gift than the promise of co-authorship of your own literary adventure.