Library offers best books about love

I absolutely love Valentine’s Day. I give the ultimate eye roll to all the haters who say it’s a Hallmark holiday or it’s just a day to shower women with chocolates and roses. I do love getting flowers, but ditch the stale box of chocolates, Valentine.

To me, Valentine’s Day is about all the loves in your life. I do have one particular sweetpea to share my Diet Crush, dance to Passion Pit, gorge on sushi and excitedly marry in July. But I also have many other loves in my life. I consider my mom, dad, two sisters, my soon-to-be mother-in-law, my two brother-in-laws and my best friends my Valentines, too.

They all have a place in my heart. In fact, this Valentine’s Day my guy Keith is making his famous pizzas, and my family will celebrate the day of love with each other. Tradition used to be that we would watch the next installment of the “Saw” series. It is a scary movie that comes out every year around Valentine’s Day, and it’s not at all a stereotypical love story. But the “Saw” tradition ended when we all realized we actually hated the movies.

And it is known that I do love love stories. Romance movies and books are great loves of mine. Luckily, Naperville Public Library is the place to find all the materials to celebrate the season of love.

Kathleen Longacre, adult services librarian, knows all things love at the library. Four years ago, she received the Windy City Romance Writers Northern Illinois Librarian of the Year. She explains who wrote the best books of love.

“A romance novel is a book that focuses almost entirely on the relationship between the two main characters. Plot and setting are secondary,” Longacre said. “The stories are optimistic and life affirming. People want that happy ending, and romance novelists today are giving readers what they want. Therefore, a true romance novel has to have a happy ending.”

Longacre said the library offers many subgenres of romance novels, including Christian, western and fantasy. She said series books are extremely popular, including the “Cedar Cove” series by Debbie Macomber, “Virgin River” series by Robyn Carr and “Fool’s Gold” series by Susan Mallery.

Longacre’s favorite romance novel is “Pride and Prejudice,” by Jane Austen.

“Although categorized as classic literature, I would describe this as the quintessential romance novel,” she said. “The main focus of the story is the relationship between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.”

To also get romantics in the mood for love, the library has a huge collection of love films for all ages, including “The Notebook,” “Dirty Dancing,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “50 First Dates.” One of my most recent favorites that shows a love story of the undead is the zombie movie, “Warm Bodies,” which will be screened May 8 at 95th Street Library.

So whether you love or loathe romance, radiate the love in your heart and on your eReader, and have a happy Valentine’s Day!

Mary Rakoczy is a multimedia associate for the Naperville Public Library.