Dads, books, and Father’s Day
By Morgan on June 13th, 2012
My dad handed me a tattered copy of The Hobbit when I was nine years old. “This was my favorite book as a kid,” he told me. The implication was, I think, “You should read it, and maybe you’ll love it as much as I did.” It was important for him to try to bond with me over books, I now realized, because at the time, all I was reading was The Baby-sitters Club, over and over, faster than Ann M. Martin could write them. And while he loved that I was a reader, he couldn’t exactly relate to Kristy’s Big Idea.
This weekend, the U.S. celebrates Father’s Day. We have some recommended reading for you, but here, meanwhile, we wanted to talk a bit more about the connections between our fathers and the books they read to us growing up. Is there a book that connects you and your own father, or, as a parent, you and your child?
For Lauren, it’s The Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume. “We always used to read it together,” she says. Other books that remind her of her dad include the Sherlock Holmes Mysteries, King Arthur, and Robin Hood.
Megan’s dad loved to read Tomie dePaola books when she was growing up, as well as Strega Nona, Pancakes for Breakfast, and The Clown of God (which always made her deeply sad. Read it, you’ll see!). He also insisted they read aloud Twas the Night Before Christmas every Christmas Eve!
Kristen’s family had the same tradition, but the reading that reminds her most of her dad is the Shel Silverstein books: “I have many memories of skipping around the pages of Where the Sidewalk Ends, reading our favorite poems together!”
Lia’s dad is an avid reader and she got her love of books from him, she says. They did a lot of independent reading followed by discussions — kind of like a family book club! “My dad loved to give my sister and me copies of Sholem Aleichem books like Tevye the Dairyman (on which Fiddler on the Roof was based),” she reminisces.
For Anne, Goldilocks and the Three Bears has a special place in her and her father’s heart. “I basically grew up in the woods of New Jersey — yes, there are bears — and I had blond, curly hair. Whenever there were bears outside, of course I ran to my dad! So it became the story of me and my childhood and my dad.”
For Jessica, the books that remind her most of her dad are more current. “The books that we share in common are mostly nonfiction history books,” she notes. “He’s definitely where I got my interest in history from. When I think of my dad reading, it’s always what he’s reading now.”
Is there a particular book that always makes you think of your dad? We’d love to hear your reading memories!
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