This Valentine's Day, forget the candy!

by Rachel on February 12, 2013

OK, I'm lying- I would never actually turn down candy for any occasion, Valentine's or otherwise.   And please, do not withhold candy from deserving people.  I'm just saying… perhaps you should try something new this year.  Valentine's  is an entire day devoted to telling those special people in your life that you love them, and I think it's a time for everyone to feel a little special.  And, just so we're clear, you definitely don't need to have a significant other in order to enjoy Valentine's Day.  Hang out with your friends.  Hug your pet.  Get a pet!  Do something for yourself or teach yourself something new.  If you're in the gift-giving mood, get creative!  How can you (affordably) give someone (or yourself!) a vacation to a far away place, a trip back in time, or a lesson on how to do something new, all in a wrapped package?

I think we all know the answer.

Last week, I heard a story about someone who had bought one book for every year he and his wife had been together.  They had been married for 50 years!  He chose 50 different books- various subjects, new books, classics, fiction, and non-fiction.

Beat that this Valentine's Day!  Or just do the same thing because that is THE BEST IDEA.

So, you're feeling the pressure- Valentine's Day is this Thursday.  Last year, I ruined Valentine's because I came home from work with a 101 degree fever, meaning my evening, and the next two days, were spent lying on the couch watching Seasons 1 & 2 of Downton Abbey, drinking my weight in juice, and being absolutely pathetic.  I think I can do a little better this year- or at least I know it can't really get worse.  In fact, I want everyone to have a better Valentine's Day than they had last year, so I present to you, in no particular order:

A Few Valentine's Gift Ideas from Vroman's Bookstore
Ideas to Save You from Buying Generic Candy, Wilted Flowers, and a Gigantic Strange-Looking  Teddy Bear from the Valentine's Aisle at the Grocery Store at 11pm on Wednesday Night

1.  Squishables
Just can't seem to pull yourself away from the gigantic stuffed animal idea this year?  Squishables fill your need to purchase over-sized creatures, and are available in a variety of not-so-ordinary species.  Hedgehogs, whales, jellyfish, narwhals, and a yeti are all members of  the Vroman's Squishables menagerie.  Give one a good home!  Also, there isn't a little kid on this planet who could say no to one of these guys!  Don't forget to show your little ones that they're special on Valentine's Day, too!


2.   A great collection of short stories
short storiesThese little gems provide the reader with a miniature escape- something a bit shorter that they can read over morning coffee or right before bed.  The action and story structure varies from that of a novel, so they provide a much different experience.  Short stories are also a great way to introduce someone to a genre they don't know much about or that they wouldn't normally read. Luckily, there have been a lot of short story collections out in the last few months.  Joan Wickersham's The News from Spain: 7 Variations on a Love Story is especially appropriate as a Valentine's gift.  These stories span several centuries and all over the world, involving many different people, but at the same time confronting the same basic theme: the attempt to understand and control love.  Other notable titles include the recent Tenth of December by George Saunders, This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz, and Dear Life by Alice Munro.

3.  Any book + some candy/ chocolate/ tea
If you're still thinking about going the candy route the year, that's totally fine!  We have an unending supply of chocolates and candy at Vroman's, and we have flavors to suit just about anyone's taste.  Hammond's makes chocolate bars with flavors like PB & J Sandwich,  Sweet & Spicy (Chocolate & Chipotle),  Sea Side Caramel, and Crackle Crunch.  We also have the infamous  Sea Salt Caramels from Pasadena's beloved Little Flower Candy Co.
Tea pairs very well with any book, and we have a pretty extensive selection.  Tea Forté has released a new collection of loose leaf teas with intriguing flavors like Tupelo Honey Fig, Peach Rhubarb, and Hazelnut Truffle.

5.  Write an old-fashioned love letter!
Snail mail is the way to go!  Afterall, you can't profess your undying love via email, can you?  Our Pen & Stationery Department has everything you need to write your sweetheart a sweet little something.  We have sealing wax kits and parchment paper, and if you're feeling really crazy, we also carry rose-scented ink.  Crane makes beautiful monogrammed note cards- stationery also makes a perfect gift!

6.  Gigantic, stunning photo or coffee table books
Why settle for a huge bouquet of roses when you could give someone a huge book?  They are available in basically every subject, so there's really something for everyone.
photo books

7.  A Vroman's gift card
We get it- buying books for other people can be really difficult.  Our gift cards take the pressure off of you, and everyone is happy in the end!  You seriously, absolutely cannot go wrong with one of these.

Obviously, when it comes down to it, you don't need to buy someone something to tell them you care about them.  But, giving gifts is fun and exciting, so if you're going to, why not be the best gift-giver you can be?

Vroman's also offers free gift wrapping at our Will Call department on the 2nd floor, and if you're still stuck and can't quite find what you're looking for, one of our awesome booksellers will be right there to help you pick something out.

Alright- go out there and show someone some love!

Happy Valentine's Day!