Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and with it comes the pressure to get your loved one something that’s just the right mix of romantic, thoughtful and personal elements.
I’ve filled this gift list with items to inspire warm, fuzzy feelings in the writer you love.
1. Things that smell like books
Book lovers savor all aspects of reading-the feel of a page between their fingers, watching a cover slowly become dog-eared and, of course, the smell of books. (If you don’t know what books smell like, you clearly are not a book lover.)
Give your beloved book nerd the smell of her favorite thing—even if she uses an e-reader.
If she loves reading by candlelight, try Modern Alchemy’s Ex Libris Candle. If she enjoys perfume, consider Demeter’s Paperback Fragrance; the company describes it as “sweet and lovely with just a touch of the musty smell of aged paper.”
Need a few more ideas? Try one of these 25 perfumes and candles that smell like old books, libraries and more.
2. Romantic writing prompts
Nothing will make a writer love you more than helping him beat writer’s block. With this thoughtful gift, you’ll win major points for making it by hand.
Snag a love-themed journal (like this one from Etsy) and fill the pages with love-related writing prompts like:
Pretend Valentine’s Day has been outlawed. Write a paragraph to persuade the government to legalize it again.
Your main character wakes to a normal day. However, when he goes to call his significant other, he discovers her name is not in his phone. He soon discovers she no longer exists. Everyone thinks he’s crazy; they have no idea who his loved one is. What happens next?
3. A massage
All those long hours hunched over a keyboard can take a toll on you.
A romantic couple’s massage is also an option. It is Valentine’s Day, after all.
4. ‘Tequila Mockingbird’
Does your writer need the perfect drink to take to book club or enjoy during a quiet evening curled up with a classic? She’ll love “Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist.”
A 2013 Goodreads Choice Award for Food & Cookbooks, this fun mixology book contains 65 literary-inspired drink recipes, such as The Pitcher of Dorian Grey Goose and Vermouth the Bell Tolls. It’s also full of clever illustrations, commentary, bar-snack recipes and drinking games.
5. A subscription to a pre-made meal service
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but the way to a writer’s heart is to fill his stomach with meals he doesn’t have to prepare.
If he has to prepare dinner himself, it will probably amount to peanut butter crackers that he’ll eat over his keyboard. (I may or may not know this from experience.)
Give your writer the gift of yummy pre-made meals with a subscription to a service like Freshology. Or sign him up for Plated, Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, which deliver the ingredients you need to cook low-maintenance meals. The meals require some assembly, but they remove the hassle of meal planning and shopping.
He can then pour some wine and enjoy a variety of gourmet meals he doesn’t even have to put on pants to enjoy.
6. Reasons to stay in bed
We’ve all had those mornings when we’d prefer to stay in bed. Make that not only possible, but delightful for your writer.
For a little of both, opt for this amazing bed rest with a built-in massager, reading light, cup holder and slot for a notebook or reading material. What more could anyone need?
7. A bathtub book caddy
Help her relax at the end of a long day with a hot, luxurious bubble bath, candles and her favorite read thanks to this bathtub book caddy. It even holds a glass of wine.
8. Treasured memories
Writers see the world as one big story. They love to find the beauty and meaning in moments big and small.
Help your favorite writer relive his most-loved stories and create new ones with the card game Rememory. It’s like a writing prompt that uncovers memorable moments.
9. Bookish jewelry
It might be a cliché, but nothing says love like jewelry. Let your writer keep her favorite book close to her heart (or wrist or ears) with these awesome jewelry pieces made from real pages of popular novels like “Treasure Island,” “Pride and Prejudice” and “Moby Dick.”
10. Literary wine and chocolate
Saying “I love you” with chocolate might be traditional, but when you say it with chocolate inscribed with a line from a famous romantic novel, you take things up a notch. I recommend this Mr. Darcy-bar.
Writers, what gifts would win your hearts this Valentine’s Day?
Kelly Gurnett runs the blog Cordelia Calls It Quits and is expanding her freelance writing, editing and blogging empire. Follow her on Twitter. A version of this article originally appeared on The Write Life.