Special gifts for the literary valentine in your life

Are you romantically involved with a writer—or hope to be? Consider these scents and sensibilities to woo the scribe of your dreams.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and with it comes the usual pressure to get your loved one something that’s romantic, thoughtful and personal.

Lucky for you, if your valentine is a writer, you’ve got some great options for gifts.

Here’s a list of 10 writerly gifts with a romantic spin, perfect for inspiring warm and fuzzy feelings in the writer you love:

1. Things that smell like books

Any true book lover savors all aspects of the reading experience—the feel of a page between their fingers, watching as a cover slowly becomes dog-eared and, of course, the smell of books.

If she loves reading by candlelight, try these Library Set candles with scents like “antique books” and “ancient scrolls.” If he enjoys a little cologne now and then, consider The Library of Fragrance’s Paperback cologne, which the company describes as “sweet and just a touch musty, a lot like Pym’s world come to think of it.”

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 them out of the valley of writer’s block. With this thoughtful gift, you’ll win bonus points for taking the time to make a personalized present by hand.

Snag a love-themed journal of your choice, such as this one, and fill the pages with love-related writing prompts like these:

Pretend that Valentine’s Day has been outlawed. Write a paragraph to persuade the people who make the laws to make it legal again.


Your main character wakes up, and it’s a perfectly normal day. However, when he calls his significant other, he discovers his partner’s name is not in his phone. He soon discovers that his loved one no longer exists. Everyone seems to think he’s crazy, because they have absolutely no idea who this loved one is. What happens next?

You can come up with your own creative prompt ideas, or check out lists like this one and this one if you need a little help.

3. Anything massage-related

All those long hours spent hunched over a keyboard can take their toll.

Any writer will love a good massage to loosen up the knots, whether you buy him a personal gadget like a mini massager, office chair massage cover or eye massager with soothing sounds, or give her a voucher for an all-over professional massage.

(A romantic couple’s massage is also an option. It is Valentines’ Day, after all.)

4. ‘Tequila Mockingbird’

Looking for the perfect drink pairing for your writer to take to book club or enjoy during quiet evening hours curled up with the classics? She’ll love “Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails With a Literary Twist.”

This fun mixology book contains 65 literature-inspired drink recipes, such as The Pitcher of Dorian Grey Goose and Vermouth the Bell Tolls. It’s also full of clever illustrations and commentary, bar snack recipes and drinking game ideas.

5. Pre-made meal service

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but the way to any dedicated writer’s heart is through her stomach with food she doesn’t have to prepare herself.

Why? If she has to prepare it herself, dinner typically consists of saltines and a jar of peanut butter eaten over her keyboard. (I may or may not be speaking from experience.)

Give your writer the gift of yummy pre-made meals with a subscription to a service such as Freshology. Maybe subscribe her to a service such as Plated, Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, which require some assembly but remove all the hassle of meal planning and shopping by delivering the ingredients she needs to cook meals from easy-to-follow recipes.

The result? She gets a fabulous meal without quite so much hard work.

Let her light some candles, pour some wine and enjoy a variety of gourmet meals she doesn’t even have to put real pants on to enjoy.

6. Reasons to stay in bed

We’ve all had those mornings when we’d prefer to just stay in bed. Why not make that not only possible, but delightful for your writer?

If he’d prefer a lazy day in bed, this bookcase headboard and these book pillows ought to do the trick.

If she’d like to get a little bit of work done, try a nice laptop-friendly bed desk or bed tray.

For a bit of both, opt for this amazing bed rest that combines a built-in massager, reading light, cup holder and slot for a notebook or reading material.

7. A bathtub book caddy

Help her relax at the end of a long day of creating with a hot, luxurious bubble bath, some candles and her favorite read thanks to this bathtub book caddy. It’s even got a spot to hold a glass of wine.

8. Your writer’s own treasured memories

Writers see the world as one big story, and they love to find the beauty and meaning in moments big and small.

Help your favorite writer relive his own most-loved stories and create new ones with the card game Rememory, which works like a writing prompt to recall special moments.

9. Bookish jewelry

It might be cliché, but nothing says romance like jewelry. Let your writer keep her favorite book close to her heart (or her wrist, or her ears) with these pieces of jewelry made from pages of popular novels including “Treasure Island,” “Pride and Prejudice” and “Moby-Dick.”

10. Literary wine and chocolate

Saying “I love you” with chocolate might seem old-fashioned, but try saying it with chocolate inscribed with a line from a romantic classic. Might we recommend the “I have nothing to declare except my genius” Oscar Wilde chocolate bar?

Because that chocolate didn’t cost very much, why not pair it with a lovely bottle of literary wine such as Writer’s Block Pinot Noir or Ex Libris Cabernet Sauvignon?

Writers, what gift would win your heart this Valentine’s Day?

A version of this article originally appeared on The Write Life.


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