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Book review: Book Lovers by Emily Henry

A love story—but not our love story.
Book review: Book Lovers by Emily Henry

"I don't know what it is about that book," the woman who runs the local bookstore told me, when I said I was reading Emily Henry's Book Lovers. "I can't keep it in stock. I already sold two copies of Book Lovers just today. Thirty-dollar hardcovers!"

"I can tell you what it is," I told Larry, after I read it. "When you go to Goodreads, all of the top reviewers are these young women who say this book makes me feel seen."

We were outside, in the garden.

"I don't know if I need to be seen, in a book," I said, "but that's because I'm older. It's also because I've spent three years with you."

"I remember how you used to say that, in the beginning," Larry said. "You would say I love you because you see me. You don't say that anymore."

"I don't need to," I said. "But the people who are reading this book, maybe they still have that need."

We sat, for a minute, thinking. About a week ago I bought one of those enormous outdoor rocking chairs, big enough for me to sit criss-cross-applesauce if I want to, and I sat and rocked and tried to figure out the best way to put my thoughts into words.

"The thing that bothers me," I said, "is that the parts these reviewers want people to see are the parts of themselves they consider flaws. I, too, am short-tempered! I, too, can't make it through a meal without checking my email! I love the scene where the man just lets her do all of these things that she's always hated about herself! I love that he loves her for it!"

Larry thought. Then he spoke.

"I want to love the parts of you that I love," he said, "not the parts of you that you don't love."