If you are raising children, read aloud every day with them. Keep the book where they can see it so that they quickly see the relationship between the marks on the page and the words they hear. Get good books; get complex books; you will hardly go wrong to get books that have stood the test of time.
Get Alice; get Pooh; get Mole and Ratty; get Gulliver. Children are used to hearing about things they only partially understand; it is how they learn these things.
Read the same books over and over. If they're good enough, you won't be bored by them, and your children will learn them by heart -- and in the process, they will learn to read along with you as you read.
Belated thanks, mom and dad.