.Reading for Valentine’s & Beyond

Whether someone is in a relationship, single or simply in love with a fictional character from that one book, Valentine’s Day is the perfect way to celebrate our community of literature-loving locals.

The lush literary landscape of Marin County has, over the years, lured many a bibliomaniac into hanging up their metaphorical laurel hat. And with such a plethora of bookworms living alongside each other, it is no surprise to see such lovely and plentiful libraries, bookstores, local authors, events and oh so much more put on each month for and by the book-devouring denizens of the North Bay.

As a species, North Bay Bookworms are fascinating to observe—they are most commonly sighted lurking between well-stocked shelves, running their fingers over the book spines and covertly smelling the pages when they think no one is looking. Due to the rainy days and long nights of winter, North Bay Bookworms have been hibernating and will, with spring, tentatively turn their sights once more toward the outdoors. Or at least they’ll think about it, especially with a holiday like Valentine’s Day on its way.

Although the actual act of reading tends to happen while one is alone, that doesn’t mean that all literary activities have to ascribe to the solitary tropes or themes of isolation—especially not during February, the month dedicated to celebrating love, connection, intimacy and community.

Luckily, Marin has somehow managed to ensure that bookworms are among the most busy bee socialites in any given city across the entire county. Between workshops, book clubs and author talks alone, choosing what fits into a full-up calendar for this February is almost hard. But in a month that’s all about love, there is no better way to celebrate than by catching up with like-minded bookworms at some or all of Marin’s upcoming literary events.

One place for local lovelorn bibliophiles to congregate is Book Passage, a lovely and lively book-centric establishment based in Corte Madera. Book Passage is best known for its continuous stream of events hosting accomplished authors, many of whom speak, provide advice and sign books for those who make the pilgrimage to the shop.

A Book Passage event to get excited about during this month of celebrating all things love is the much-anticipated appearance of the New York Times bestselling author of Come as You Are—and co-author of Burnout—Emily Nagoski, Ph.D. In a very appropriate theme for February, this Valentine’s Day, the adjacent author’s talk sees Nagoski presenting their science-backed musings and lessons on women’s sexual health and prosperity, specifically within long-term relationships.

Nagoski’s in-person appearance at the Corte Madera Book Passage location will also include a live online platform that will run simultaneously. Those interested in attending Nagoski’s Book Passage appearance, either online or at the bookstore, can tune in at 6pm on Feb. 8. Tickets for the events may be bought online for $34—this pricing includes a pre-signed book.

Another Book Passage event that fits perfectly into February’s theme of Valentine’s Day and love is the Susan B. Katz special event for kids ages three to seven. This children’s literary event is set to take place at 11am on Feb. 10 at the Corte Madera Book Passage store. At this event, Katz will read from Share Your Love, her playful book of rhymes meant to engage and teach children about the wonders of sharing love with oneself and others.

Also, on Feb. 10 at the Corte Madera Book Passage location, the Left Coast Writers will convene for their Pre-Valentine’s Day Fundraiser for the Women’s Daytime Drop-In Center in Berkeley. This All You Need is Love fundraising event will take place at 2pm, and guests can have shared refreshments, company and support.

And if anyone is feeling like a bit more of a Valentine’s adventure for voracious readers, consider catching the Larkspur Ferry to attend one of Book Passage’s many events in the Ferry Building of Marin’s sister city of San Francisco.

For those who are single and learning to love it, consider hopping across the bay on a boat to see Ph.D.-holding Bella DePaulo’s Feb. 13 appearance in the San Francisco Ferry Building. This event promises to be a perfectly appropriate place to be pre-Valentine’s Day—especially since DePaulo will be talking all about her book, Single at Heart, The Power, Freedom and Heart-Filling Joy of Single Life.

And for those who want all the literary themes of love for less cost, consider staging a meet-cute at the closest library instead. Marin County’s array of public libraries also offers up another place for book lovers to get out and about this February—and whether one is looking for friendship, romance or just a place to go that isn’t the four walls of one’s own home, libraries are always there for loitering locals (those who are both lucky in love and lovelorn alike).

For instance, the Mill Valley Public Library has an eclectic array of social occasions suitable for all sorts of bookworms to break out of their shells and into the social scene this month. The book clubs available through this library alone are incredibly in tune with the needs of a county that reads.

And for those who enjoy classic literature, the classics book club is just finishing up Agatha Christie’s A Murder Is Announced. Other book clubs include the Building Bridges to Poetry Book Club, the Civic Minded Book Club, the Crime Book Club, the Great Escape Book Club and the World Literature Book Club. Book clubs aside, on Wednesday, Feb. 7, the Mill Valley Library is hosting a crafting event for all ages to come out and create love notes for friends, family and romantic partners alike.

Book Passage is located at 51 Tamal Vista Blvd. in Corte Madera—the shop’s hours of operation span from 10am to 6pm Monday through Saturday and from 11am to 6pm Sundays. To learn more about Book Passage and its upcoming events, call 415.927.0960 or visit the Book Passage website at bookpassage.com.

The Mill Valley Public Library is at 375 Throckmorton Ave. in Mill Valley. For more information or to sign up for any and all of the workshops, book clubs and more, visit the website at millvalleylibrary.org or call 415.389.4292.


  1. Thank you, Isabella, for mentioning me and my “Single at Heart” book! Looking forward to the event at Book Passage in the Ferry Building.

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