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Books for your Valentine (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Happy Valentine's Day! Have a book!

Valentine's Day arrives again on a tide of chocolates, lingerie, flowers and candy hearts. Books aren't in the cliche pantheon -- to their benefit. Maybe the way to impress a special sweetheart is with a fancy reissued classic or an unexpected paperback.

We've put together a list of a few good prospects; take a look.

In the meantime, here's a classic from the mid-1800s; it's by Christina Rossetti and called, for its first line, "I loved you first."

I loved you first: but afterwards your love

    Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song

As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.

    Which owes the other most? my love was long,

    And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong;

I loved and guessed at you, you construed me

And loved me for what might or might not be –

    Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong.

For verily love knows not ‘mine’ or ‘thine;’

    With separate ‘I’ and ‘thou’ free love has done,

         For one is both and both are one in love:

Rich love knows nought of ‘thine that is not mine;’

         Both have the strength and both the length thereof,

Both of us, of the love which makes us one.

There are more like that; the Poetry Foundation has a shortlist of major poems that express romantic, classic, LGBT, sad and erotic love. They have also created Valentine's Day mini-poems that can be sent online and shared via social media, a few lines of text adorned with -- what else? -- romantic hearts and flowers.

Book news and more; I'm @paperhaus on Twitter

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