Poor Valentine’s Day. How did a holiday intended to celebrate love become so bloated, such an opportunity for encouraging self-loathing in the unattached and heaping expectations upon the coupled?
When I was growing up, Valentine’s Day primarily meant coming into the dining room in the morning and finding little presents at each place: reminders from my parents to everyone in the family that we were all loved.
I’m going to channel the incomparable Donna Meagle and suggest that in honor of V-day 2015, we all set aside a stretch of time to make sure that we lavish some bookish Valentine’s Day love on the one person we truly cannot live without: ourselves.
Step 1: Choose the perfect book.
I’m not asking what you’ve been meaning to read or what your old roommate most recently recommended you check out from the library. What do you want to read?
Personally, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying a relapse of my romance novel binge. I think anyone would be well served by a Valentine’s Day with a delicious Sarah MacLean or Eloisa James tale. But maybe you’ve been itching to reread some Dickens, or curl up with a good memoir? I don’t know your life.
Reach into your heart and then go get whatever book will perfectly fill the book-shaped need slumbering there.
Step 2: Treat your book to a meal.
Okay. I’m being facetious. Do not attempt to feed your book. This will result in tragedy and smudged pages. But you should treat yourself to a meal, and read while you eat if that’s what your heart desires.
Reading while you eat is inadvisable for many dietary and book-maintenance issues, but I’m telling you not to care about that right now. You are the queen of this situation. Read while you eat if you want to read while you eat!
Step 3: Take your book into a bath.
Not everyone loves baths, but that’s because many people are stupid. Baths are the best. What could be more relaxing than lounging in a person-sized ceramic womb of hot water with optional bubbles? Nothing.
I think the reason that baths are such a perfect self-indulgence is that their main purpose is pleasure. They sort of also clean you, but there are much more efficient ways to do that. Baths just feel good. And when you add a book into the equation, the situation becomes positively luxurious. Keep a trickle of hot water running and you can stay in for hours.
Bonus points for candles and a glass of wine. Treat yo self.
Step 4: Take your book to bed.
Reading in bed is a blessing and a curse. It’s awkward to find a good position, it trains your brain to be wakeful in your bed, and it’s the best way to encourage yourself to read much later than is responsible.
But the pros outweigh the cons: your sheets are soft, you can lounge on a pile of pillows like the queen that you are, and when you do get tired, you don’t have to go anywhere in order to get to your bed because you’re already there. And if you feel moved read all night instead of just reading slightly later than is sensible, then you rock the fuck on, you beautiful creature. It’s your life, you can get extra coffee in the morning if you need to.
In conclusion: happy Valentine’s Day, my fellow book nerds. Go forth and treat thyselves. Bookishly.