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We do, in general, moan and groan about the fact that no one really reads books... the old-fashioned way... any more.

The common complaint is that the romance of holding a sheaf of crinkly yellow pages... bound in musty leather... wreathed in a layer of dust that sprinkles itself, like magic powder, over the reader, transporting the individual with a few deft strokes of language, from Victorian England to the savage wilderness of an African safari... and from the dank and wretched confines of a slave ship in the Caribbean to the exquisite sensual elegance of a ball in medieval Italy... has died out, in this age of iPads and Kindle Fires.

Nothing as wonderful as the experience of a good book, however, ever goes, to quote Dylan Thomas, goes "gentle into the good night".

On the occasion of Valentine's Day allow us to introduce you to ten book whose essence speaks of love... whose soul lives only for romance... and whose pages and stories will make you cry.

Italo Calvino once said "the ultimate meaning to which all stories refer has two faces: the continuity of life and the inevitability of death". The Italian master was pointing out the comedy and tragedy inherent in life... and in love...

Who are we to disagree with him?

Start the slideshow to check out the ten most romantic books of all time...