My father did not read.
Our bookshelf held only the Encyclopaedia Britannica, a Webster’s Dictionary and a Bible.
Mom had a few magazines and books on her bedside table, but the only leisure reading done by my father was the Sunday paper.
Yet my siblings and I somehow determined that a book was an appropriate gift for Dad on various occasions.
The books we picked out were heavy on photographs and light on text. “The Lake Superior Images.” “100 Years of Harley Davidson.” Coffee-table books.
Dad would flip through and say something about how he would love to go camping up on the Canadian side of the lake or reminisce about picking up Mom on his motorcycle and how Grandma hated that.
These books made the perfect gifts because they reinforced the fact that we knew him, knew what he liked, knew he had interests other than digging trenches and laying pipe all day long.
Every other month or so, Taylor Books receives a pallet load of “remainders.” Remainders are books whose remaining unsold copies are being liquidated by the publisher at greatly reduced prices. A book that originally retails for $25 will typically sell for about $5.
Our latest load of remainders has just arrived, and the treasures being unpacked are sure to make a fantastic gift for dads of all types. A few that I’ve seen include a beautiful cloth-bound collection of Audubon’s early drawings; a signed limited-edition collection of John Lennon and Yoko Ono ephemera that retailed for $200 and is sale priced at $25; a biography of Raymond Carver; a Life magazine collection titled “100 Greatest Photographs”; and, the one that will be sent to join my parents’ encyclopedias, “Custer,” by Larry McMurtry, a lavishly illustrated volume that chronicles the tragedy of the famous general and the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
The remainders can be found in our sale books section in the back of the store.
Other titles for Dad might include:
n “Dad is Fat,” by Jim Gaffigan. Gaffigan’s self-deprecation is relentless, and he offers little to no advice or insight into fatherhood, but conjures up some hilarious anecdotes from his experience of raising five young kids in a two-bedroom Manhattan apartment.
n “Muddling Through,” by Bil Lepp. Lepp has some very creative advice on dealing with the incessant questioning put forth by young children.
n “The Most Dangerous Animal of All: Searching for my Father and Finding The Zodiac Killer,” by Gary Stewart, tells the bizarre, true tale of a 39-year-old adoptee whose search for his birth parents leads conclusively to a serial killer.
n “DIY Furniture Volume II: A Step by Step Guide,” by Christopher Stuart, features 30 modern furniture designs for both the novice and the experienced and will make you think about common materials in a whole new way.
For fathers with young kids, we have plenty of children’s books that dads will love reading aloud to their kids at bedtime.
If you’re worried about getting him something he won’t like, take a look at what’s already on his bookshelf. See what authors are represented in his collection and go out and find a different title by the same writer.
What we’re reading
A look at what the avid readers of the Taylor Books staff are currently reading.
Raeshon — “#Girlboss,” by Sophia Amaruso; “The Confessions of St. Augustine” (autobiographical)
Ann — “The End of the Point,” by Elizabeth Graver; “Dear Life,” by Alice Munro; “Orfeo,” by Richard Powers
Mark — “The Wise Man’s Fear,” by Patrick Rothfuss; “Hippie Homesteaders,” by Carter Taylor Seaton
Mariah — “The Reason I Jump,” by Naoki Higashida
Rachel — “As I Lay Dying,” by William Faulkner; “Attempting Normal,” by Marc Maron
Taylor Books’ best-sellers
n “The Feud,” by Dean King
n “Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book,” by Diane Muldrow
n “God Got a Dog,” by Cynthia Rylant
n “Hippie Homesteaders,” by Carter Taylor Seaton
n “Capital in the 21st Century,” by Thomas Picketty
n “The Fault in Our Stars,” by John Green