Can books teach you about love?

I’m going to say that while many books do cover love and romance well, I do personally think that it’d be a bit dangerous to say that they can “teach” you about love because what if the book you are reading has a romanticised toxic relationship? Or what if it just reinforces unrealistic expectations?

I think they can be good if you have someone you can talk to about what you’re reading just to get their take on things! Also they can give some good quotes like “we accept the love we think we deserve” (which by the way, is just the opinion of a fictional character, I wouldn’t live by this)

What do you guys think?


No, they can’t! There is nothing that could teach you about love, in my opinion

You just have experience it.

No. Most of the time you have to experience it yourself, people feel and express their feelings in different ways.

I don’t think books can teach anyone about love. Love is a very strong feeling, it’s something you have to go through yourself in order to grow, learn, and understand. Books, movies, or any film or work about love doesn’t teach, it more so just makes it more appealing or idealistic. People love in different ways, and that’s because everyone is different who have grown up in a different environment so love can mean different things. It might be toxic or healthy. If someone who is toxic reads a book about a healthy love is not going to suddenly change their mindset of how they see things. A toxic person needs to experience something personal in order to come to a realization that they need to change.
Books just make love look beautiful, it forgets the ugly side of love. Love can be risky, terrifying, beautiful and ugly

1 Like

@Bookworms what do you think? Can books teach you about love?

let me preface this by saying i am on the aromantic spectrum, so i’m aware my perspective may be different from others
also the question is a lil bit vague so many thoughts but for the sake of finishing this someday i’m gonna keep it to romantic love

i do think books can teach someone about love

they can’t teach us how it feels exactly because, let’s be real, who can define exactly what a feeling is? all the sensations and thoughts they bring? every person experiences love differently, so they can’t exactly give us a cookie-cutter version of “love” and go “yes, this is what it is”
they also can’t teach us about what a perfect relationship looks like because… well different people have different love goals and all that, and what may fit someone may not fit someone else

but books can teach us about love

let’s take a look at Pride and Prejudice for example, if we want a… quite popular reference in romance books
i adore Austen and her work, i think no romance writer has stuck with me quite like she has
i first read the book when i was fifteen
and it taught me that i thought that romance was pointless and dumb and a waste of time
or well, dropping the book halfway and not ever finishing taught me that
still, the experience of reading it taught me how i felt over romantic topics
point 1: the experience of reading a book can teach us about our own perspectives in love

a similar thing happened to me with Romeo and Juliet by Willian Shakespeare
this play shaped how i saw romantic love for a very long time
both main characters were so painfully dumb to me
it made no sense that they’d go through all that because of “love” (i’m gonna leave my rant about how this is more an infatuation than love for later)
and for YEARS i would roll my eyes and express disdain anything that would have to do with love: love was juvenile and dumb, the play that’s often acclaimed as an iconic romance taught me so
point 2: books can shape our thoughts and perspective on love

but let’s go back to Jane Austen for a minute
i re-read (and finished) Pride and Prejudice at age nineteen (yes, it took me four years to pick it back up and finish it, and it was only bc it was required for a class)
and man
to quote Austen: till that moment i never knew myself
reading it a second time, older and after having some more real life experience with love irl… well it changed me
now it’s one of my favourite books
mostly because i can see myself a lot in Mr Darcy
re-reading P&P quite literally made me aware of things about myself i had never noticed, including things about my… complete lack of knowledge in human relationships and feelings
while reading Darcy’s growth i could see myself there, and i could see the direction i wanted to grow towards
there’s a reason i am sending my friends letters this year
also, i say this as a joke but… tbh i’m also like Darcy in the fact that i’m absolutely in love with Miss Elizabeth Bennett
point 3: books can teach us where we stand when it comes to our own feelings (there’s A LOT of literary theory on this dfjvbf but if you’re interested, DM me, please, i have a lot to talk about)
point 4: books can teach us how we wanna be when it comes to love, and that can help us work towards it
point 5: books can teach us what kind of people we may be into

now, i’m gonna branch out and move towards non-romance books:
starting with The Lord of the Rings
the relationship between Sam and Frodo, however you may interpret it, as well as the one between Legolas and Gimli?
those opened my eyes
i have no doubt those two pairs love each other
how do they love each other? i haven’t got the foggiest idea
but they do love each other
point 6: books can teach us that love comes in many forms, be it friends who have known each other through all their lives or two people who got stuck together and started out disliking each other, love is just something that happens (and (point 7:) it motivates people to do what may seem impossible so it should be celebrated)

lastly, i’m going to mention my favourite romantic reference: Good Omens (because you can’t tell me Crowley and Aziraphale aren’t in love with one another)
the relationship in Good Omens is lovely, it’s not stated obviously, but iirc Neil Gaiman has stated that they are in love (y’all should follow him on tumblr btw, he’s amazing)
and up to this point, now that i’m… two months shy of turning twenty-two years old… that is the relationship that makes me go “i want that”
point 8: books teach us about our ideals in love
and, in my case, it gives us hope that maybe, just maybe what we want is possible

now, i know this is long already (i’m sorry, props to you if you’ve read this far) but i wanna talk about writing books for a second
writing is always a process of self discovery
so why shouldn’t it help up learn about ourselves and love in the process?
it has helped me, after all


Just adding a couple tags

I feel like books can teach both sides of love. In some books, mostly fairy tales, love is presented as this magical force and they show the better side of love. Others show that love can be dangerous if taken too far

This could be something for @Writers who write romance: Can your books/stories teach about love? And what about books in general?

Closed due to inactivity