With Valentine’s Day approaching, I began thinking about the different types of love in my life. My family and friends, various pets, my job, traveling and exploring new places and, of course, books. Books were my first love and will always be the greatest love of my life. In them, I have learned magic at Hogwarts, explored 1920’s Paris with Ernest and Gertrude, joined the Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on the island of Guernsey, and have wandered the Appalachian Trail with Bill. I have read many different genres and stories and, the one constant I have found in every book, is love. My favorite part of working at Princeton Public Library is introducing people to these stories and helping them find love within the stacks.
From Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, Romeo and Juliet and Catherine and Heathcliff to the more modern romances of Noah and Allie, Don and Rosie and Hazel and Augustus, there is never a shortage of love stories here at the library. These unique relationships have become instant classics and the type of idyllic love many people hope to find. The library is also filled with the works of many literary unions. Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre and Percy and Mary Shelley; all writers, all in love. Perhaps the two most well known real-life literary romances are F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald of the “Lost Generation” and, despite their very tumultuous relationship, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. While exploring the depths of their imaginations, these writers, if only for a short time, found love with each other. Shall we chalk it up to common interests?
While I love poetry and history, graphic novels and memoirs, my favorites books are always ones that feature stories about a love of books. Our Literature Neighborhood in our Non-Fiction Collection is full of them. Annie Spence’s “Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks“, consists of love and break-up letters librarian Annie has written to the books in her life. In “Morningstar: Growing Up With Books“, author Ann Hood discusses how books have transformed and molded her into the person she is today. In the book “My Ideal Bookshelf“, leading cultural figures from musicians and actors to authors and artists discuss their favorite “go-to” books and their love of reading.
As librarians, we love to love books, and since we also love helping patrons find their next great read, our Adult Services librarians and associates have compiled lists of some of their favorite books and recommendations. So, stop by the Welcome Desk during your next visit and check out these picks. We wish everyone a Valentine’s Day full of love in the stacks!
Photo courtesy of the author.