Visions of Paris may dance in our heads but not within our means, why not dream a little with Rick Steves’ Paris 2009 guide to the City of Lights? Reading about the perfect boulangerie summons the romantic in everyone.

An unexpected gift for your quirky partner, Bernd Bruner’s Bears: A Brief History provides a charming account of the love affair between man and beast. Gorgeous illustrations and enchanting anecdotes fill this pint-sized coffee table book.

Lovers of film will flip for Steven Jay Schneider’s 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. A true gem for all those late nights at the video store, overwhelmed with indecision. Summaries, statistics and commentary fill this mighty tome.

Epicures will delight in Claudia Roden’s Arabesque – a cookbook centered on Moroccan, Turkish and Lebanese cuisine. A gorgeous confection itself, Arabesque tantalizes the senses with exotic dessert recipes like Compote of Fresh Apricots, Roast Quinces and Pistachio Cake.

Not just another love song, Love Stories, edited by Diana Secker Tesdell, assembles a plethora of various short fiction, comprising tales of amour that can be read alone or aloud. A fantastic and varied group of writers fills this collection from F. Scott Fitzgerald and D.H. Lawrence to Dorothy Parker and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Travelers of the armchair variety can sit for days and peruse Oxford’s Atlas of the World. With hundreds of beautiful maps covering every inch of the globe, the possibilities are endless. Why not dream together of your first, or next, fantastic voyage?

Is anything more romantic than an Oscar Hammerstein lyric? Together with Richard Rodgers, the two artists created some of the most memorable musicals of the 20th century – from “South Pacific” to “The Sound of Music.” The Complete Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein II highlights Hammerstein’s genius with songs like “Some Enchanted Evening” and “Romance.”

Notorious love-aholic William Shakespeare perfectly suits Valentine’s Day. Marjorie Garber’s Shakespeare and Modern Culture takes on 10 plays, investigating their relevance in today’s world.

Especially literar-ily inclined significant others will appreciate Disquiet, Julia Leigh’s new tale of heartbreak and redemption, which aches with love, loss and calcified bitterness. This slim novel provides a memorable read for a quiet afternoon.

Surely a timeless way to win someone’s heart, Scottish Poems, edited by Gerard Carruthers, compiles works from Scotland spanning the Middle Ages to the present day.

Does anyone stay home and have a comfy-cozy Valentine’s? The Best Casserole Book Ever, by Beatrice Ojakangas, boasts over 500 recipes that epitomize comfort food.

Any movie fan will delight in Michael Sragow’s Victor Fleming: An American Movie Master. Long derided as a studio hack, Fleming shepherded Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz through terribly tumultuous shoots, resulting in two of the greatest films of all time. This comprehensive biography puts the director back on top.

Your crafty sweetheart will revel in Kaari Meng’s Home Sewn. Bursting with a French slant on ideas for home improvement, gifts and decorative frippery, Home Sewn provides easy directions and gentle encouragement.

As an added bonus, maybe the most stunning book I have recently encountered, Turquoise, offers a mix of recipes, photos and travel writing on Turkey. Charmingly written by Greg and Lucy Malouf, each detail in this breathtaking coffee table book delights the senses, from the promise of Spiced Pumpkin Kofte with Walnut and Feta Stuffing, to the remarkable photos of markets, food stands and poignant everyday life.

And, two great picks for your favorite Un-Valentine, Kerry Miller’s Passive Aggressive Notes and Eric Weiner’s The Geography of Bliss. Your favorite Valentine Grinch will be reformed with Weiner’s One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World, leading you from places like Qatar and Bhutan. Miller’s work bursts with “hilariously hostile writings,” put together as a sort of bulletin board of doom.