top of page
bookworms and biblios website header all other pages.png

Five Books to Make You Fall in Love with Reading

Updated: Apr 2

For the first time or all over again, here are five books to tug at your heartstrings.

That feeling of being pulled along by a good story is something we should all get to experience. It’s Valentine's Day, and there will be no shortage of Romance book recommendations. So I went a different route; I assembled a list of books that didn’t center romance (at least in the “traditional” sense).

Much of modern understanding and definitions of love come from Ancient Greece -- they had six words for various types of love a person could feel. I used those definitions as my guide. (Although I took some creative liberties with Philomath as that is not one of the six). There will, of course, be some overlap in the types as love in and of itself isn't isolated. And as much of a sucker as I am for romance novels, for this list, the transformative part of the narrative doesn't deal with the realization of romantic love.

Five Books to Fall in Love with Reading

This is list is structured loosely off the different types of love as defined by the Greeks. Here are the five loves the books are categorized into:

Storge - familial love

Philomath - love of knowledge

Philia - affectionate love

Agape - selfless, unconditional love

Philautia - (positive) self-love


The Key to Happily Ever After by Tif Marcelo

Three sisters take over their family's bridal boutique.

This book was a love letter to Alexandria, VA. It is also about the love and growing pains of sisters left in charge of the family business. This book gave me the warm and fuzzies. The de La Rosa sisters are just flawed enough to feel real, but not so much so that you dislike them as characters. There are romances in the book, but they take the backseat to the main narrative, which is all about sisterhood. It poignantly deals with the complexity of familial relationships, especially when there is a business involved.



The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

A boy with a magic tollbooth.

This book is admittedly a nostalgia pick. That being said, it is absolutely hysterical. (I listened to it this summer with my little bits, and there were chuckles and chortles all around). While written for children, readers of all ages can enjoy this book. The constant play on words is a pun lover's dream. The world is rich and imaginative. Sure, the narrative itself is very on the nose (it’s meant to be), but there will clever bits you get as an adult that you may have missed on your first reading.



The Romantic Agenda by Claire Kann

A woman secretly in love with her best friend.

I know, I know, I said no romance novels. Yes, they are stuck in a cabin together. Yes, there is the tried and true trope of fake dating. But this one is different, I swear. So often, romantic love is paired with sexual love or sexual attraction. Joy, our asexual protagonist, allows the reader to decouple those concepts. Instead, the reader gets an incredibly nuanced look at asexual love and identity in the form of a fun rom-com.



The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen

A boy and his fairytales.

This book made me sob. Trung Le Nguyen takes the simplistic beginnings of a story and envelopes the reader in the complexities of youthful angst, the immigrant experience, familial ties, and queer identity. I talk a lot about authors being able to weave together threads of a story into a satisfying narrative, and The Magic Fish is one of the best examples of that. Not only are the illustrations beautiful, but the use of color to tell the various tales is brilliant.



The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff

Murders most marvelous.

What do Bonobos, Phoolan Devi, and churels (witches) have to do with each other? Well, you’re going to have the read the book to find out. This book was a dark horse for me; I admit, I mainly sought it out because of the cover, but the synopsis convinced me to borrow it. It was so funny that I went out and bought a copy for my own library. Do be warned though: the subject matter is very heavy in this novel. Parini Shroff is truly a gifted author. She can take you from side-stitch laughter to sober realization so quickly it will give you whiplash.


Have you read any of these books? Do you agree with the categorization? What books made you fall in love with reading?

bottom of page