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What That Book Gift is REALLY Telling Them

When you’re buying flowers for someone, it’s always good to remember that a rose means “I love you,” whereas a ghost orchid means “I think you are rare, expensive, and thrive in the swamplands of Florida.” It’s the same with books. When you’re giving someone a book as a gift, your choice of book says volumes. (I hate myself for that pun, but it’s too late, I already typed it.) So, you see, if you’re going to buy someone a book, you’d best know what kind of message you’re sending. Case in point:

The Great Gatsby—Our relationship is most likely going to end in either disillusionment or death.

The Picture of Dorian Gray—You are beautiful, selfish, and emotionally unavailable.

Catch-22—You are confusing and objectionable.

Great Expectations—You will probably amount to very little without the help of a wealthy beneficiary who owes you a life debt.

Lord of the Flies—Given the right set of circumstances, I would not hesitate to cast off the shackles of polite society and proceed to hunt you for sport.

The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings—I know your secret and you’re not fooling anyone.

Wuthering Heights—You have terrible taste in men and will probably die for it.

In Cold Blood—I’m feeling like maybe you get TOO MUCH sleep at night. Here, have a book that will ensure your dreams are vivid and bursting with nightmares.

On the Road—Try not to fall in love with me.

Of Mice and Men—I want you to know you’re my best friend, and I care about you, but I would definitely murder you if things got dicey.

Pride and Prejudice—I would date you in spite of your shortcomings.

The Book Thief—I hate you and want you to suffer.

Brave New World—When I think of you, I think “post-apocalyptic dystopian cityscape.”

Jane Eyre—You are objectively not good-looking.

The Old Man and the Sea—No pressure, but you’re racing against the ever-tightening noose of time and in all likelihood you will never accomplish anything.

Atlas Shrugged—Do not look me in the eye, ever.

Slaughterhouse-5—I’ve noticed you care nothing for the worldly constraints of time and space, and largely prefer a nonlinear narrative.

Heart of Darkness—I strongly suspect there is a simmering evil lying dormant inside us both.

The Importance of Being Earnest—I admire your silk cravat.