For The Love of Books


Accumulate some serious relationship cred at Avid Reader this Valentine's day with our special 'Secret Valentine'. Simply come in store, choose a book for your friend or love, and we will wrap and proudly display it in our window. We will contact your giftee on Valentine's day to let them know they have a lovely surprise waiting for them in store. But remember, there are only 6 days left to get involved! 

Are you stuck for a little Valentine's inspiration? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Check out the books our staff would choose to give to their Valentine's, or would love to receive themselves (hint, hint).  



"Because when we say my love is eternal, or as big as the universe, we often don't know what we are saying. This book puts everything in perspective and it also talks about the implications of the size of things.  A really smart read for a really smart lover." [Science]

THE GENE, AN INTIMATE HISTORY by Siddhartha Mukherjee

"This book explains who we are and how we discovered ourselves. From the origins of our understanding of natural selection to cutting edge gene therapy research that may one day cure a multitude of diseases, this book tells us so much about ourselves. If you want your love to know everything about you then they better get their head around this book. Also it is the single most fascinating book I have read in 2017. Poetic, philosophical and informative. Mukherjee is one of our greatest stylists as well as one of our greatest science writers and historians." [Science]



"There’s nothing more romantic than giant wolves, post-factual Loki, and Ragnarok endings. Gaiman’s retelling of the myths is delightful, dark and bloody." [Fantasy]

JOE SPEEDBOAT by Tommy Wieringa

"A Dutch coming of age story about love, arm wrestling, disability, and building a plane for the most questionable of reasons. This book asks 'will you be mine' like no other." [Fiction]

Fiona & Kev


"I'd give a Valentine Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms by Anita Heiss. It's a story about a love that transcends all boundaries. It's about love for your land and your family, and it's a story by an author who we love!" [Fiction]

PACHINKO by Min Jin Lee

"An epic story of love and loyalty spanning four generations of a Korean family in imperialist Japan. An emotional read." [Fiction]


HERA LINDSAY BIRD by Hera Lindsay Bird

"Maybe poetry for Valentine's Day is cliche, but this debut collection by New Zealand poet Hera Lindsay Bird is funny, beguiling, and excitingly strange. Her poem about Monica from Friends is worth buying it for alone." [Poetry]


"You'll know if I have a crush on you by my immediate and insistent lending of books. Sputnik Sweetheart, the first Murakami I ever read and still my favourite, is always one of the first to go." [Fiction]



"The way to my heart will always be through cookbooks, and this is one I've spent a lot of time mooning over before and after my shifts. A beautiful, extravagant book that makes you think of faraway places and aspire to cook spectacular things." [Cooking] 

SWING TIME by Zadie Smith

"Smith always writes about love and lust in such a beautiful and nuanced way. I've loved the suprising, sometimes shocking, but always deeply real and human way her characters interact in all her other books but haven't got around to reading this one yet." [Fiction]


JUST KIDS by Patti Smith

"At its heart, Just Kids is a love story. It explores Smith's relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, the ebb and flow of their lives together, and the impact each made on the other's artistic career. With poetic force, Smith reinforces true love at both a sexual and platonic level. It's both heartbreaking and heartening." [Memoir]

SANDMAN by Neil Gaiman

"I can be easily won over with slightly evil humour and fantastical elements - I'm all about escapism. If there is also a badass babe, you've got me hooked. I read the Sandman series many years ago and have always meant to come back to it. If someone could please organise a complete collection for me, that would be greatly appreciated..." [Graphic Novel/ Fantasy]


THE ULTIMATE COOK'S MANUAL by Marianne Magnier-Moreno [Cooking]

ON THE LOOM by Maryanne Moodie [Craft]

"For me, Valentine's Day has always been about making an effort to give your time, to slow down and do something for your loved one that you never get around to doing throughout the rest of the year. You don't have to spend a lot of money on it, it truly is the thought that counts. Go out of your comfort zone and cook them an amazing meal you've never made before, or make them something they can treasure forever. Maybe if they haven't picked up a 2017 diary yet you can buy one and mark out certain days during the year you will devote just to them, or find out what their favourite book is and track down a copy in a beautiful gift edition."