For book lovers, nothing is better than being surrounded by books, reading stories that come to life in every turn of a page and escaping into worlds only the reader and the characters can ever visit. Just the familiar scent of hard bounds and ink on paper keep you excited for the adventure to come. The dream of any bookworm is to create a personal library, shelves full of reads from authors across the globe.

Sounds relatable? If so, gear up! Cue Book Depository, the world’s leading specialist online bookstore. It is an online bookshop based in the United Kingdom that delivers affordably priced books to worldwide – for free! Yes, and that includes our homeland, Philippines.

Among the 17 million books you can get your hands on are modern-day romance novels from world-renowned authors, some of which are available at bargain prices. To get you started, here are ShopBack’s 10 affordable contemporary romantic reads for this holiday season.

1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

me before you

Also adapted into a romantic drama film, ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes tells a story of love and how it transcends despite a tragic reality.

The main characters, Louisa Clark and Will Traynor, meet at low points in their lives. Will is plotting the end to his misery after a motorbike accident. Louisa, on a lighter yet similar note, is struggling to fend for herself and her family. A smooth transition of events and absolution bring them closer to change the theme of their last moments together. Vivid, touching and thought-invoking, ‘Me Before You’ is not a perfect love story, but heartfelt nonetheless.

Price: USD 9.78 (U.P. USD 15.25)

2. Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska

From the award-winning author of best-selling novels ‘Paper Towns’ and ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ comes another masterpiece of love, coming of age, and inevitable reality.

While an underrated book compared to the highly popular ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, this title is a fan-favourite, and for good reasons. ‘Looking for Alaska’ is narrated from the perspective of Miles Halter who sets to a boarding school in Alabama out of fascination for the “Great Perhaps”, the last words of a dying poet. He eventually meets Alaska who will sky-rocket him into the meaning of those last words and a deeper understanding of life.

Price: USD 8.83 (U.P. USD 12.40)

3. The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

The Keeper of Lost Things

‘The Keeper of Lost Things’ is a heartwarming tale of precious interconnections – of loss, hope, and redemption. Journey with the characters as beautiful coincidences collide to form this wonderful tale. The intertwined life stories of the characters will regain a reader’s faith in oneself, love, and optimism. Bookworms looking to escape into a world full of hope will not be disappointed browsing the pages of this book.

Price: USD 10.64

4. Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

Sputnik Sweetheart

Another exemplary novel is written by Haruki Murakami in the form of ‘Sputnik Sweetheart’. The account speaks of extraordinary stories of ordinary fictional personas named Sumire, K, and Miu. It weaves a picture of the characters as individuals with raw emotions, struggles, and personal desires while living in a society bounded by cultural norms. This story of love and passion leaves readers on a cliffhanger until the very end.

Price: USD 9.34 (U.P. USD 17.75)

5. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

The Sky Is Everywhere

Jandy Nelson presents love in the face of loss and grief in her debut novel, ‘The Sky Is Everywhere’.

The book tells the story of Lennie Walker who lost her sister, Bailey, and learned to face her own music and spotlight. She now has to deal with two facets of acceptance and moving on in the figures of Toby, her later sister’s fiance, and Joe, a transferee from Paris who shares her love for music. Nelson’s emotional prose brings Lennie to life in her whirlwind of feelings, and road towards self-discovery. Secondary characters like Gram and Uncle Big add a special touch, both charming, quirky and lovable in their own right.

Price: USD 9.31 (U.P. USD 10.69)

6. The Little Shop of Happy Ever After by Jenny Colgan

The Little Shop of Happy-Ever-After

The ‘Little Shop of Happy-Ever-After’ is a tale of romance and new beginnings set in the less busy lands of the countryside.

A light-hearted book that any book lover would empathise with, the story takes place mainly in the Scottish highlands. The focus is Nina, a librarian, and her life after she decides to move away from the urban jungle to run a bookmobile. With her skills for storytelling and literary matchmaking, she went on adventures with charming locals and new possibilities for a happy ending.

Price: USD 10.69

7. Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

Call Me By Your Name

‘Call Me By Your Name’ presents unraveling love between Elio and Oliver, who both try to express their desire for each other despite limiting forces back in 1987.

Both the flashback and current circumstance are told from Elio’s perspective. He recalls their interrupted passion on summer in Italy and all the complications that surrounded it. Exploring the themes of obsession and fear, fascination and desire, Aciman threads between the grey areas in the book. The book is an exploration of sexuality, coming-of-age and mutual understanding, a learning process for Elio as his relationship with Oliver developed, bringing a story that tugs at our heartstrings.

Price: USD 12.03

8. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The Notebook

Bestseller ‘The Notebook’ is another classic from award-winning author, Nicholas Sparks. Much like the film adaptation, ‘The Notebook’ retains the sappy, cheesy romance narration, perfect for those who enjoy the theme of true love.

The love story of Noah and Allie begins before the Second World War. They meet one summer, and their undying love for each other sparks. Allie comes from a family of stature, but Noah has lived a simple, humbling lie. This great difference between their socio-economic backgrounds hinders their union. 14 years later, they meet again and the turn of events dictates the rest of their lives.

Price: USD 8.77 (U.P. USD 12.64)

9. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell


‘Attachments’ is a blossoming office-based romance around main characters Lincoln, Beth, and Jennifer. As part of office protocols, Lincoln is hired to read employees’ emails as the company’s Internet Security Officer. Among the hundreds of emails he reads, Beth and Jennifer’s forbidden emails became a source of entertainment in his mundane job. The plot unfolds as Lincoln formulates his plan to be noticed by Beth and aspire to break out of his shell.

Price: USD 9.19 (U.P. USD 15.25)

10. The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

The Versions of Us

Laura Barnett explores the different possible outcomes of varying decisions made by the characters from the point of crossing paths in ‘The Versions of Us’. In exploring ‘what if’s, this moving novel establishes a life truth that even the tiniest factors – which road to take, which connections to keep or lose, which love to choose and which to walk away from – affect how one’s life turns out. Ultimately, the big question remains: what if a small decision could change the rest of your life?

Price: USD 9.38 (U.P. USD 12.03)

Those are the 10 contemporary romantic reads that made our list. More are available when you visit Book Depository, and they are all set to be delivered to your doorstep for free in just a few clicks. Get started on building your dream library! Which of these have you read and which ones do you recommend? Let us know!

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