Books That Have Taught Me About Love

Regular readers will know that I’m not one for love and romance in their conventional forms. Valentines day was created by someone who clearly hated me. Not because I’ll be alone on the 14th of Feb, but because I hate pink, I hate hearts and I hate gratuitous public displays of love marked by the delivery of chocolate and flowers. Extreme put it best when they sang, ‘more than words’.

I am fond of subtle love, whether it be for your partner, family or friends. That moment you look at someone, doing something perfectly ordinary, and know you could never do without them.

These are the books that have taught me about love:

Little Women

“There are many Beths in the world, shy and quiet, sitting in corners till needed, and living for others so cheerfully that no one sees the sacrifices till the little cricket on the hearth stops chirping, and the sweet, sunshiny presence vanishes, leaving silence and shadow behind.”

The bond of the March family is beautiful. Their love for each other – no matter how annoying they may be (Amy) – is unwavering.

Harry Potter

“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.”

I don’t think it is possible for me to read any Harry Potter book and not cry. There is so much to learn about family, love, bravery, life. Harry Potter, marked for death by Voldermort, grows up an unloved orphan before he arrives at Hogwarts and finds his surrogate family.


“Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”

Beloved is about so many things, way beyond and more important than love. But, I will never forget how this family loves each other, and what they will do to save and protect one another.

Just Kids

“I imagined myself as Frida to Diego, both muse and maker. I dreamed of meeting an artist to love and support and work with side by side.”

Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe had a connection far deeper than romance, they were a meeting of souls. To achieve this sort of meeting of creativity and intellectualism with another person is an ideal. It can be damaging and wasting at its worst, but at its best you’ll never feel more alive.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

“Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else.”

The It’s a Wonderful Life of literature. Eddie travels through the afterlife discovering how he lived and was loved.

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

“I want someone who is fierce and will love me until death and knows that love is as strong as death, and be on my side forever and ever. I want someone who will destroy and be destroyed by me.”

An example that there is no ‘normal’ form of love, just many wondrous types. Jeanette’s mother is sadistic and cruel, when a mother’s love for their child is meant to be the most natural. She is disgusted by Jeanette’s love of women, when that love is purer than anything she has ever felt.

The Year of Magical Thinking

“Life changes in the instant. The ordinary instant.”

Nothing is more heartbreaking than the loss of someone you love.


What books have taught you about love?


P.s. If someone bought me flowers I would probably feel all tingly inside, so while I hate it I don’t hate it. If you know what I mean. I’m a barrel of contradictions.  

Image source: *_Abhi_*

10 thoughts on “Books That Have Taught Me About Love

  1. I read The Five People You Meet in Heaven before and it really gives out a lot of things. For me, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer really expresses love in a very unconventional way. The burst of pure emotion gives the perfect example of unconditional love and the longing of a loved one. I am not a romance person either and I believe that books that teaches people about love doesn’t necessarily have to be a guy and a girl falling for each other.

    Well hello by the way, I found you through giraffehost 😀


    1. Hello! Always lovely to have a new visitor.

      Oh yes, EL&IC is an excellent novel for love, had me in tears. Definitely 100% agree that love goes way beyond boy/girl matchups.


  2. So many books have taught me about love, in so many different ways. I love that the ways are endless… You have inspired me to look into which books have taught me the most, though. Maybe a post for Feb. I enjoyed reading your list!


  3. I have to agree with you. I like books that are not romance, but that capture the love and relationships that are not always just about two people, or falling in love and being ‘partners’. I like those that go deeper, and touch on sometimes the darker sides of ourselves and allow us to develop new understands and see things differently.

    I don’t think I have read enough, or appreciated enough works to name any that have really coming to mind right now. Harry Potter is although, a strong one. Especially when we were growing up with it too.

    You soooo need some flowers. 😉


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