With the 14th fast approaching, we are all having love hearts and Valentine’s cards thrust down our throats in a desperate attempt to get us to cough up our money once again to keep the greetings card companies going for another year. Those with a literary lilt may be tempted to purchase a book for their significant others as a present. The temptation is to get a book with a classic love story. Although I am no self-confessed love guru, those thinking of buying their partner a book should be wary and consider the implications of their purchase before giving it. Here’s a quick run down of titles I would avoid:
5 to avoid:
Romeo and Juliet:
Surely this is perfect? The archetypal lovers who overcome their destinies and all obstacles to be with the one they love… well, not quite. The play does end in a fairly graphic double-suicide after a mix-up. If you want to suggest that your relationship has communication problems, then this is great. Might not present your opinion of your in-laws in a great light either.
Classic love story right? Cathy and Heathcliff have a love as raw and rugged as the Yorkshire heath around them, yeh? Wrong. This is a story of two people who ruin each other’s lives and a representation of the destructive nature of passion and love. Whilst it may look like a good idea on the surface, you can see how this might go down badly with your lover upon their finishing of the book…
Pride and Prejudice
Not only would this be the most over-played and clichéd move ever, its characters also make it an unsuitable choice. Girls are forced to compare themselves with the frustrating, judgemental and overall slightly pathetic female lead of Lizzy Bennett, whilst most guys are never going to be as swoon-inducing as Mr Darcy (and by extension, Colin Firth). Let down all round.
What better way to woo that special someone in your life than with some poetry and who better to turn to than the granddaddy of English literature, William Shakespeare? Bill wrote plenty on the subject of love, but if you want to impress your loved one, steer clear of the sonnets. He uses his sonnets to point out how great he is and mocks love and beauty. Probably not the message you want to send, so I’d give it a miss.
The Karma Sutra
I don’t think I really need to elaborate how this one could dive bomb. That being said, if you’re feeling brave, this might be worth the gamble.