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Ode to Books and Dads

August 31, 2018

Words | Tim Harris

Father’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the blokes in our lives. Which got me thinking – are dads like books? I reckon they can be, so I asked my amazing Facebook friends to help create a list of similarities between the two. Here are fifteen ways dads can be like books:

  1. Dads and books can be used to light a barbecue. Hmm… I’m not convinced this is the sort of thing we want to be promoting in this post. Conventional stovetops are far better for cooking.
  2. Both can be hard on the outside but soft on the inside. There’s something special about hardcover books. They have sturdy, tough – and sometimes handsome – exteriors. Yet when you open them, they reveal themselves and share something special with you. Dads can be a bit like that too.
  3. Dads and books can tell bad jokes. Enough said.
  4. Dads and books can stop a table from rocking. Many dads take pride in their handy work and ‘DIY’ skills. Books, too, can prop up a wonky table. Or even better still – teach you how to fix it yourself!
  5. Both are unique. This is fairly obvious. Every book is different. And so is every dad.
  6. Dads and books tell great stories. Listening to dad recount the time ‘that fish got away’, or how his footy team won the premiership, or how he misplaced a stapler in the office can be enthralling stuff. Similarly, books can capture our imagination with their wonderful tales.
  7. Both can be used to squash a spider. Though most books aren’t afraid of doing so.
  8. Both can make you walk taller. One on your head and the other with praise.
  9. The more time you spend with them, the better you get to know them. Great books have layers that can be peeled away and digested with every read. Dads are like this when you spend time with them.
  10. Dads and books can influence the way you look at the world. Both can rub off on you in the most surprising ways – and impact your thinking in the process.
  11. Both claim to know everything. This is yet to be formally proven.
  12. The weathered ones tell the most stories. Time is a beautiful thing. The older ones are a bit dogeared and faded; battle scarred and patched up; fragile and much loved; visited all too rarely. Beautiful stuff.
  13. Both can be called upon to reach a stash of chocolate on the top shelf. Though only one will eat most of it before it’s lifted down.
  14. Dads and books are held upright by their respective bookends. Let’s face it, dads are great, but they need support too.
  15. Both can leave an imprint on your soul.


Tim Harris is one of the most exciting children’s authors in Australia. His first series of books, Exploding Endings, will have primary-aged readers both captivated and laughing out loud. The first book in the series, Painted Dogs & Doom Cakes, was awarded Honour Book at the 2017 KOALAs. His second series, Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables, contains his trademark quirkiness, mixed with a touch of poignancy.

A former primary school teacher of 15 years, and advocate for creativity and short stories, Tim’s presentations and workshops are dynamic and entertaining. He is a sought-after presenter, having worked in over a hundred schools in 2016 and 2017 alone. Image by Ryan Pernofski

Tim lives in Sydney with his wife and three young children.

Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables Go Wild will be out Monday, September 3


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