Columns > Published on June 12th, 2014

10 Books To Give To Your Crush

A book is the perfect gift to give to your crush. They are not ridiculously expensive, and if upon receiving the book the person says, “I don’t really read,” you’ve just saved yourself a lot of time! Crush over. That person is clearly not dateable.

A book is a safe bridge between friendship and romance. It’s more personal than letting someone borrow your pen, but less so than flowers or a video of you singing a song by The Postal Service (no, I have not done this, why are you asking? Stop smiling at me. Stop!). Book giving doesn’t need to be linked to any special occasion, so you really can’t go wrong.

Here are ten books I would consider giving to a crush, depending on their nature, and how I would inscribe them. Take note:

1. 'Ask the Dust' by John Fante

Who you should give it to: The dude who worships Charles Bukowski, also known as “The Loveable Curmudgeon.”

Inscription: “If you thought Factotum was good, get ready for this. You’ll definitely thank me later.”

[amazon 0060822554 inline]


2. 'Bonsai' by Alejandro Zambra

Who you should give it to: The bookworm with a big heart.

Inscription: “Wait until you get to the part where they read to one another. I can’t think of anything more romantic.”

[amazon 9781612191683 inline]


3. 'Ghost World' by Daniel Clowes

Who you should give it to: The hot chick with horn-rimmed glasses.

Inscription: “The film version is great, but I found the story really benefits from the pacing of a graphic novel. Read this, then let’s watch the film sometime and compare.”

[amazon 9781560974277 inline]


4. 'Hyperbole and a Half' by Allie Brosh

Who you should give it to: That person who is hysterical and kind and full of personality, but also has the cutest face you’ve ever seen. Also known as the person that everybody likes.

Inscription: “I can’t imagine that anyone dislikes this book/blog, and I kinda feel the same way about you!”

[amazon 9781451666175 inline]


5. Just Kids by Patti Smith

Who you should give it to: The artist/musician/writer.

Inscription: “Friendship is love is friendship is love is I totally like you, you inspire me.”

[amazon 9780060936228 inline]


6. 'Love in the Time of Cholera' by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Who you should give it to: The girl with flowers in her hair, the boy who carries around a notebook everywhere he goes.

Inscription: “This book is like music. Isn’t it a shame that nobody loves like this anymore?”

[amazon 9780307389732 inline]


7. 'Meaty' by Samantha Irby

Who you should give it to: The comedian, or the person who “keeps it really real.”

Inscription: “These essays would make me squirt milk out of my nose if I were drinking some, which is how I feel every time we talk. In a good way!”

[amazon 9780988480421 inline]


8. 'There is No Right Way to Meditate' by Yumi Sakugawa

Who you should give it to: The DIY cutie who wears a lot of flowy outfits and disappears on day-long hikes.

Inscription: “Some really good life reminders in here, and who knows, perhaps because I gave this to you it’ll remind you of me!”

[amazon B008IMRSQQ inline]



9. 'The Secret Lives of People in Love' by Simon Van Booy

Who you should give it to: The lovely, quiet soul who is slow to open up to you.

Inscription: “There are so many stories about loss in this collection. It reminds me of how much I want to really hold onto something someday.”

[amazon 978-0061766121 inline]


10. 'Tiny Stories' (Vol. 1-3) by Joseph Gordon-Levitt & hitRECord

Who you should give it to: People with dimples.

Inscription: “I think you’re even cuter than these books!”

[amazon 0062121669 inline]

As I come to the end of this list, I realize I have given these books to various people: crushes, peers, besties, sad friends in need of love, friend crushes, and my Mom. Some I learned about only because they were given to me as gifts.

Maybe giving a book to someone special will get you a date, and maybe it won’t. Either way, you are spreading the literary love! So, do it.

About the author

Christine J. Schmidt is a writer originally from New Jersey. After receiving her BFA in Dramatic Writing from SUNY Purchase, she worked at Seattle Repertory Theatre as their artistic literary intern. She recently left Brooklyn, where she was a bookseller and events host at WORD, to reside in Los Angeles. She has previously written for New York Theatre Review, and her plays have been read and produced at theaters in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Washington. Coffee is her favorite thing.

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