BETHEL, Conn. — Love is in the air at Byrd's Books in Bethel, where they are dishing up lots of books and fun ideas for celebrating Valentine's Day.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, the store is featuring a “Blind Date with a Book” basket. Customers can select a wrapped book — title unknown! — from the basket. On the wrapping paper, Byrd's Book’s owner Alice Hutchinson has written a brief description of the book instead.
Customers first purchase the book and then open the wrapping paper to see the title.
“It’s been widely popular,” Hutchinson said. “I thought it would be a fun idea. Valentine’s Day lends itself to the blind date theme.”
Aside from the book basket, an entire table at Byrd's Books has been devoted to Valentine’s Day books. The display contains books that express love for all ages and for all types of relationships, including love between couples, friends, and caregivers and children.
Five of these books, which Hutchinson recommends for Valentine’s Day, include:
- "Love Is My Savior: The Arabic Poems of Rumi" by Rumi. This book of love in the face of rejection is a dual-language volume, written in English and Arabic. “Poems are the height of romance. When someone gives you poetry, it’s the most romantic gift you can possibly get,” Hutchinson said.
- "One Hundred Love Sonnets: Cien sonetos de amor" by Pablo Neruda. It is written in both English and Spanish. Hutchinson said a dual language book “brings people together who may or may not have something to share otherwise.”
- “Love" by Emma Dodd. This is a book for a preschooler. "It's a reassuring book of love from an adult to a young child. Its simple language and beautiful illustrations convey the sweet relationship between a caregiver and a little child," she said.
- "Darling, I Love You: Poems from the Hearts of Our Glorious Mutts and All Our Animal Friends" by Daniel Ladinsky. This book is for a pet owner. In poems and pictures, it celebrates the love of pets, according to Hutchinson.
- "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen. "This is a classic love story that one can give to a friend or share in a book group. It’s about unfulfilled love and a woman’s ideal of a romantic love," she said.
Hutchinson, owner of the 5-year-old bookstore, said jewelry, candy and flowers are all acceptable gifts on Valentine’s Day — but books always express affection much more completely.
“With a book, you have potentially 200 to 300 pages to tell a story and a story always conveys the depth of love. Also, with a book, you are jumping in on someone else’s experience. There is usually a journey involved."
Books are something "that you can enjoy over and over again. A good story will stay with you," Hutchinson said.
"As a gift, books can encompass all different relationships, such as between couples, parent and child and friends."
For more information on Byrd's Books, at 126 Greenwood Ave., call 203-730-2973 or click here.