Love between the pages

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2017

It’s February and love is in the air! Why not pick up a great book and discover love between the pages? While I don’t generally read romance novels, I have a few favorite literary love stories to suggest this Valentine’s Day.

“Everything, Everything” was my favorite of the 35 books I read last year. Nicola Yoon’s debut novel is the story of Maddy and Olly, teenage neighbors. The catch? Maddy is “allergic to the world” and can’t leave her house or have anyone but her nurse visit.

“Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes was a real tearjerker. Hopefully you haven’t seen the movie yet and can read about the romance between wheelchair-bound Will Traynor and his caregiver Louisa Clark before you do. (And THEN watch the film, because it’s great too.)

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“My Name is Memory” by Ann Brashares is a love story that lasts more than a lifetime. Throughout centuries, Daniel and Sophia have fallen in love. He has “the memory” and seeks her out again after each time they are separated by death or other circumstances. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a beautiful story, so just do yourself a favor and check out a copy from the library!

Since those three books were my only suggestions to offer you, I enlisted my coworkers to offer additional romance recommendations. Wanangwa Hartwell, technical services librarian, and Martha Nobles, library assistant, are both huge Jane Austen fans. Wanangwa’s top pick is “Mansfield Park” while Martha prefers “Persuasion.” Programming Coordinator Amelia Derr’s suggestion is the Half Bad trilogy by Sally Green, young adult novels about two warring factions of witches with some unexpected romance thrown in.

We also have a few fun programs coming up at the library to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day. Kids (up to 5th grade) can join us on Feb. 9 to make Valentine’s crafts. We will have teen (6th-12th grade) Valentine’s Day parties on Feb. 13 at the Saluda Library and Feb. 14 at the Columbus Library. Adults are invited to play love-themed trivia at Black Coffee on Feb. 10 and make gorgeous Valentine’s Day cards at the Saluda Library on Feb. 13. Visit our website for more details.

We are also currently seeking participants to create memory jars, to be displayed at the library during the month of March. What takes you back in time? Simply fill a mason jar with anything that sparks your memory. We provide the jars; you fill them and bring them back to the library for display. To participate in this community art project, stop by either of our libraries to pick up a jar. Jars are due back to the library by Feb. 24. After they are displayed, they can be picked up the week of March 27. Examples are shown on our website.

I’ll leave you with a great pick-up line to use this Valentine’s Day: “Are you a library book? ‘Cause I’m checking you out!”

Jen Pace Dickenson is the Youth Services Librarian at Polk County Public Library. For information about the library’s resources, programs, and other services, visit or call (828) 894-8721.