The Aesthete

P.S. I Love You

Married literati Molly Ringwald and Panio Gianopoulos go Christmas shopping for each other in Nolita. Their destination: A bookstore, of course

by Jenny Bahn photography Mike Vorrasi

Molly Ringwald sits at a small table in the café of the McNally Jackson bookstore on Prince Street, her perfectly manicured fingernails wrapped around a cappuccino as the wedding ring given to her by husband Panio Gianopoulos, who sits across from her, catches the morning light.

At 44, Ringwald is still the beautiful redhead we fell in love with during her Brat Pack days, although she no longer emits the wonderfully sophomoric naiveté that characterized her as a teenage actress – fitting, given Ringwald’s ever expanding creative ambitions. Along with developing a show to star in and produce for the Lifetime network, Ringwald is releasing a jazz album in the spring and is currently promoting her first novel, When It Happens to You, which was recently selected as one of year's best by The Guardian U.K. Next up: a screenplay adaptation of When It Happens that, naturally, she'd like to direct.

To be sure, Ringwald isn’t the only star of reinvention in the family. Gianopoulos, a former book editor with an MBA from Stanford whose nonfiction work has appeared in Salon, Glamour and Details, among other publications, recently published the novella A Familiar Beast (an Amazon "Best Book of the Month" for December) and is currently completing his follow-up, The Economy of Love. He and Ringwald live in Santa Monica with their three children (a nine-year-old and three-year-old twins).

With the holidays soon approaching, we couldn’t imagine anyone better to ask for book recommendations than these two literary loves. We gave them two simple rules: Choose five books to give the other, and give five good reasons. The choices they made for one another give a telling glimpse into the lives of two authors in love — with each other and the written word. 

“I really try to give myself certain periods of time, usually at night, where I just read,” says Ringwald. “Because I feel like if I don’t make the time, I won’t do it, and I’d be really sad if that was no longer a part of my life. I don’t want it to ever be something that I used to do.”