1. They give the best gifts.
Who needs a too-small, scratchy nightie or a clearance-rack bustier in “muted nude” when you can have pages upon pages of Mr. Rochester’s smoldering gaze or Christian Gray, unbuckling his belt? Admit it: Hermione Granger finally kissing Ron Weasley is better than a table at the Olive Garden paid for with a Groupon.
2. They offer you an unconditional “clean slate” policy.
That day you burned your lip on a too-hot noodle and everyone thought you had oral herpes? That other day you woke up so hungover you had Doritos and Four Lokos for breakfast? Not a problem. There are hundreds of fresh pages to turn, and each knows less about you than the one before.
3. They’ll go anywhere for you.
You’ve got a four-hour mani/pedi/facial/highlight/trim appointment at the Aveda salon an hour away? Girl, no problem. Stick a book in your bag and it’s just happy to be there beside you.
4. They’re very into PDA.
What’s that? You thought just because you’d been dating for several months you could reach for his hand in the park? The audacity! Remember: touch is the most important thing, and unlike your former beau, books are all too happy to oblige. Please, go on. Touch and keep on touching. Caress to your heart’s content.
5. They can last all night, if that’s what you’re into (and let’s be honest, that’s what we’re all into).
I know what you want, baby, and these 412 pages of Crime and Punishment aren’t going to read themselves.
6. One word: orphan.
No more creepy Uncle Ricks, overbearing Jewish mothers, or fathers who try to touch your butt. No stalker ex-girlfriends, either, or freeloading roommates who are always crashing your dates. What you see is what you get, and honestly, thank God for that.
7. They’re around as much—or as little—as you want them to be.
In Our Time isn’t going to be hanging around just a bit too long in your kitchen on a Sunday morning, fingering the box of Bisquick and looking at you like you owe him something. You know where In Our Time is going to be? Anywhere you darn well please.
8. All character flaws are either endearing or amended immediately.
Whether or not you found Christian Gray’s Jekyll-and-Hyde, “love me/don’t love me!” personality appalling or erotic, you have to admit there’s a sweetness in how badly he wants to let Anastasia in. And by the end of the book, oh look: he does. When was the last time your man used self-examination as a tool for empathy or to enhance the level of emotional intimacy between you? Yeah. That’s what I thought.
9. They’re not interested in the last of your takeout leftovers.
Who’s going to eat that extra red curry over jasmine rice? You’re going to eat that extra red curry over jasmine rice (and the rest of that key lime pie, as well).
10. Books can’t fart.
11. You can trade them in when they get old (without the complication).
Who needs a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking scene at 2am in a crappy apartment strewn with records and mustard-stained shirts? No more, “But baby…”s on your voicemail. Stick a book in the drop-box by the side of the road and you’re good to go. No Dixie Chicks or Taylor Swift necessary.
12. The more, the merrier—in fact, it speaks favorably of you.
So stock up, baby, winter’s coming.
So what wins… books or boyfriends?