By Daniel Lefferts for Bookish.com
At Bookish, we've written about how reading certain books is great for attracting mates. Once they've paired off, new lovers often find that books also make excellent (albeit meaning-loaded) gifts. Every title sends a particular message--some good, and some bad. If your partner gives you reading material this holiday, you should know how to decode their offering. Here, we've broken down five kinds of messages your lover might be trying to send you by giving you a book, with five examples of books to look forward to (or watch out for).
Type of book: Tear-jerker romance
Message: He wants to take the next step
Example: "The Time Traveler's Wife," by Audrey Niffenegger
This bestselling novel doesn't mess around when it comes to the subject of love, and if your sweetheart gives you a copy as a gift, it probably means he doesn't either. Niffenegger's novel, which Time named one of the 10 most romantic books of all time, tells the story of Henry, a librarian capable of travelling back in time who visits his lover, Claire, at various stages in her life. As the novel progresses, the dimension-hopping inevitably leads to complications—imagine having to date two vastly different versions of the same person at once—but the end result is a picture of true love that cuts across every kind of barrier, quantum-mechanical and not.
Type of book: Poetry
Message: She'll never cross you again
Example: "Shakespeare's Sonnets," by William Shakespeare
Nothing says "I'm sorry" like a collection of Shakespeare's 14-line riffs on love, loss and beauty. But, don't let your partner out of the doghouse until she's recited at least one out loud. We suggest number 116, which begins with just about the closest thing to "My bad" as you're likely to find in Shakespeare: "Let me not the marriage of true minds / Admit impediments."
Type of book: Experimental fiction
Message: He wants to take risks with you
Example: "Only Revolutions," by Mark Z. Danielewsky
If your significant other gives you this National Book Award-nominated experimental novel by Mark Z. Danielewski as a gift, it might at first seem like the only thing he's trying to give you is a headache. The story of two teenage lovers on a cross-country road trip, the novel moves at random between different time periods in American history and boasts some seriously pomo page formatting. Like Danielewski's popular debut novel, "House of Leaves," it's a challenging, not-always-intuitive read, but one that will ultimately win you over with its sense of thrill and romance. It might be your significant other's way of opening your imagination, or simply stoking your wanderlust. In any event, the message is: Let's take a journey.