Our Reading Lives

Fall in Love Like a Bibliophile

Kit Steinkellner

Staff Writer

Kit Steinkellner is a playwright, screenwriter, and creative writing teacher. She also writes about books and reading  at Books Are My Boyfriends. Follow her onTwitter: @BooksAreMyBFs

This past weekend, my Very Special Man Friend went all Jane-Austen-Nicholas-Sparks-Shakespeare-Writing-Sonnets on me, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him. You guys, come on, of course I said yes! What is a Very Special Man Friend for if not for eventually marrying?

Over the past week I’ve been retracing all the milestones of our relationship in my mind, and there’s one particular bookish-themed story I want to share with you:

The summer we started dating, I was working at Book Soup in Los Angeles. I am so grateful for my time at Book Soup for so many reasons, but the reason that is pertinent to this story is that working at Book Soup got me out of my rut of reading only Advanced Placement High School Senior English Class-Approved Classics and helped me start exploring less-well-trod bookish paths. It was while working at Book Soup that I discovered Haruki Murakami, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Elaine Dundy. And it was the summer I started dating Brian that I read If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino.

I have this digital-snapshot-clear memory of lying on my bed in my hot, air-condition-less shoebox of a studio apartment, reading this novel and laughing on almost every single page. Brian glanced up from his laptop to ask what I was reading. I held up my library copy of Calvino, and a few days later, when I had finished the book, I passed it along to him. Then it was my turn to listen to him laugh as he turned the pages, my turn to watch him stay up late at night and wake up early in the morning to finish the book.

There’s something about two people falling in love with a book at the same time they are falling in love with each other that makes it especially clear why reading and falling in love were invented to begin with.

I shared my story. Now it’s your turn. This is the motherf—ing Book Riot community, I KNOW there are some good stories out there. Is there a book that played a minor/moderate/major part in a great love story of yours? Who was the person, what was the story, and most important, WHAT WAS THE BOOK?