Father’s Day – books I remember dad reading

Published by Erica on

Father’s Day is just around the corner, and this year I’ve been reflecting back on the books of my childhood. Reading together was a staple for us at bedtime: we all gathered near a couch or a bed and tussled over who got to sit where. Then my dad would put on his best reading voice, full of inflection and animation, and whisked us away to the worlds between the pages. Mom and Dad both read to us – we’re talking about hundreds, thousands of nights here as we kids grew up! – but these are the books I think of most when I think of Dad reading aloud.

My First Book of Nursery Tales retold by Marianna Mayer, illustrated by William Joyce

I vividly remember this book and the classic stories inside, like the Three Billy Goats Gruff, Goldilocks, and the Gingerbread Man. I can hear my dad voicing the wolf for the Three Little Pigs, grumbling as the troll while the Billy Goats Gruff went trip-trapping over his bridge, and telling of the hard-working Little Red Hen. I still love how Marianna Mayer tells these tales, the nuances of her storytelling imprinted in my memory. That memory is so strong that when I read other re-tellings to my little ones, they usually feel a little lackluster in comparison. This book is no longer in print, but you can find used copies on Amazon and elsewhere.

Like I mentioned, my parents read to us thousands of nights! Raising five kids with an 11 year age span from oldest to youngest adds some complexity to the bedtime story game. As we got older, my parents started reading chapter books, before ultimately having us read on our own if we wanted. (Given how often I was caught up late reading, I definitely kept up the trend of a nice book before bed!)

Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Apparently I’m old enough that the books my parents read to me growing up are now considered vintage! This beautiful boxed set is what we read growing up, complete with a metal cat bookmark to mark our place. I’m not sure how we got that bookmark… my mom is not a fan of cats and it was pretty frilly for my dad to have chosen it. Regardless, that white cat with red collar sat happily along the spine as we worked our way through the first four books in the series.

I loved hearing the adventures unfold as we sat around the living room and listened to my dad. He really does have a fantastic voice for reading books aloud. And loud. But hey, a good story really should be proclaimed with vigor!

The Holy Scriptures

Our most consistent family reading time came early each morning as we got together to read scriptures.  Every school day, we stumbled from bed to the dining room table with rumpled pajamas and crazy bed head to learn about Jesus Christ. I loved this routine, and I grew to realize that these books were by far my dad’s favorites. He and my mom taught us principles and lessons from the scriptures,  going back to clarify a point here or define a word there.

Of all the books they read to me, family scripture time has had the biggest impact on my life. I learned about my Savior Jesus Christ and how I could live a good life, filled with love.

I’m so thankful for a dad who made it a priority to read with his kids! Happy Father’s Day!

Categories: Books I Love


Teri Burgin · June 16, 2019 at 8:25 pm

I think the bookmark came from Grandma B. I would never have bought it!

Steve Burgin · June 16, 2019 at 8:38 pm

Thank you for so beautifully capturing these special delightful bonding memories that were so integral in our lives as you grew!

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