If you are a Proper Book Nerd (and we’re assuming you are), then you’re almost certainly hoping to find your fairy-tale style, happily-ever-after ending with a fellow Proper Book Nerd to match. Though we can’t promise you’ll find your bookend this year, we can offer something almost as good: a list of nerdily bookish love stories to inspire you.
Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Lily does something we’ve probably all dreamed of doing: she leaves a notebook on a shelf in her favorite bookstore, waiting for the right someone to come along and find it. Dash picks it up and accepts the challenge therein. The exchange of dares and feelings that follows spins into a mismatched romance with a bookstore to thank.
Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell
Cath is the ultimate book nerd. And amidst all the other, wonderful coming-of-age bits of this story about writing, fandoms, and surviving the transition from high school to college is the unthinkable—a book lover falling in love with a boy WHO DOESN’T READ. It’s a tribute to Rainbow Rowell’s brilliance that we’re rooting for Cath and Levi anyway.
Enthusiasm, by Polly Shulman
If you’ve ever been the introverted best friend to a charmingly crazy extrovert, you’ll sympathize with Julie’s plight. When her best friend becomes determined to find her own Mr. Darcy, Julie finds herself auditioning for a play at an all-boys prep school. What follows is a love triangle (square? pentagon?) filled with sonnets, dances, and lovable bookishness.
A Novel Idea, by Aimee Friedman
Short on extracurriculars for her college apps, Norah starts a book club. When she falls in love with one of her attendees, she decides the best way to win him over is to adopt the plot of her favorite romance novel. Cheesier than a trip to Muenster? Yes. Still our own personal fantasy? So, so yes.
A Little Something Different, by Sandy Hall
Second only to falling in love in a library, falling in love in creative writing class has always been a personal dream of ours. With the whole world—including their creative writing professor—scheming for them to get together, how can Lea and Gabe resist? Plus, an adorable squirrel.
Eyes Like Stars, by Lisa Mantchev
Beatrice Smith lives in the magical Théâtre Illuminata, along with every character from every play ever written. What with composing a script about her own life, Bertie’s already busy enough, but toss some meddlesome fairies and the affections of the tempestuous Ariel (and a friendly pirate) into the mix, and you’ve got a delightful love affair bursting with theatrical references and general nerdiness.
What’s your favorite tale of book nerds in love?