How Many Books Should Your Child Read In A Year?

Have you ever wondered if there is a magic number of books you should read in a year? Like the recommendations around eating your vegetables or steps in a day, is there a number out there for books too? 

While there may not be an exact number, there are a few ways to decide how many books your kids (and you!) should be reading over the course of a year. Keep reading to find out how many books your little one should be reading at different ages and why reading is so important. 

We’ll also help you think of ways to make reading more fun for the hesitant readers out there. Don’t think we left the grownups out! We’ll also let you know if there is a perfect number of books you should be reading as well!

Why Is Reading So Important?

Before we talk about how many books your little one should be reading each year, let’s talk about why reading is so important. A lot of numbers and statistics get thrown at us parents when it comes to reading, but what is the meaning behind it all? Why should kids be read to every day? Why should they read independently, once they start reading? 

Builds Vocabulary

The first reason reading is so important is it helps to build a strong vocabulary. The more books your child reads, the more words they’ll hear and learn. Even simple board books or storybooks can help your child build their vocabulary. The more words your child hears at a young age, the easier it may be for them to learn to read. 

Boosts Concentration And Focus

Books have a way of making us focus on one topic. If your child is reading a book about dinosaurs, they need to concentrate on the words to understand and learn about the dinosaurs. If they’re thinking about playing with their friend, what’s for dinner, or their new video game, they won’t be able to retain the information. Reading helps them practice this concentration and focus, which applies even when they’re not reading. 

Learn New Ideas

Books are filled with new ideas! You can open a book and learn about animals at the zoo, Olympic athletes, or astronauts in outer space! You can also learn about different cultures and people. A love of reading may also open your eyes to new places, without even getting on a plane!

Expands Imagination

Reading may also help expand your imagination and look at the world in a new way. Imagination isn’t just unicorns and dragons, although we love them both! It’s also how people come up with new inventions that may change the world! 

Consider the device you’re reading this very article on. Not very long ago, these devices would have been a thing of science fiction! All it took was a lot of imagination, hard work, and problem-solving, and now they’re real!

How Many Books Should Kids Read In A Year?

Deciding on how many books kids should read actually has many variables. For one, it depends on their age. Two, it depends on if they’re doing the reading themselves or if they’re being read to. And finally, it depends on their reading level. 

Another thing to consider when thinking about the number of books your child should be reading is that reading the same book over and over again is a good thing! Yes, we know you’re over the book your kid keeps picking, but reading the same book may help them build confidence in their reading and reinforce new vocabulary words.

Finally, when it comes to books, remember that quality over quantity is really what’s important. Both the quality of the book and the quality of how well your little one is able to read and comprehend the book is more important than hitting a certain number of books each year. 

Kindergarten And Younger

For kids in kindergarten and younger, the recommendation is to read five books to your child a day. By reading five books a day, it’s thought that they’ll have heard one million more words than a child who was never read to by the time they’re 5. If you multiply five books by 365 days, you’ll get a total of 1,825 books a year. We don’t know about you, but 1,825 books can sound pretty overwhelming! 

Set your goal for five books a day while they’re young. If you miss a day here and there, don’t worry! At this age, one of the biggest benefits of reading is the additional words they’re hearing. If you have a busy day or are on vacation without your books, pull up the Caribu app. We have thousands of books to choose from. You can also make up a story or sing fun songs while you’re out and about. 

First Grade And Older

In the first grade, many kids are starting to read independently. It’s generally recommended for kids to read independently for about 20 minutes a day. How many books each child will read in a year greatly depends on how many words per minute they read, and how long the leveled books are. 

How Can You Make Reading Fun?

If your little one is struggling with finding their love of reading, we have a few suggestions on how to help them find it. Each child is different, so you may need to be creative when trying to help them enjoy reading. 

Let Kids Choose Their Own Books

When your little one is at school, they’re often limited on what books they can read. That’s okay! Sometimes even adults have to read things for school or work that aren’t exactly what they would pick. Sometimes reading something we wouldn’t pick helps us learn something new. 

When they’re picking books at home or at the library with you, let them choose books that look interesting to them. Even if the book seems below their reading level or even too high, that’s okay! Let them try it. Graphic novels are really popular right now. Even though they’re filled with pictures, they’re still super beneficial for kids to read, especially if your child is struggling with reading or doesn’t typically enjoy it. The pictures and fast pace may help them become stronger readers. 

Read Together

Another way to make reading more fun is by reading together! Go back to the basics. You can read storybooks, graphic novels, or even pick a chapter book to read together. If you’re trying to get your child to practice their reading, have them read every other paragraph or every other page. 

Read Books That Have Been Made Into Movies

Reading a book that has been made into a movie is super entertaining. You and your little one can read the book together, and talk about how you envision the characters and setting. Once you’re finished with the book, you can watch the movie together and see what aspects are similar and which are very different. 

How Many Books Should Grown-Ups Read?

Okay, parents, it’s your turn! Are you reading enough books in the year? Well, there are many different recommendations when it comes to how many books you should read a year. However, like children, how many books YOU should read each year really comes down to how many words you can read in a minute and the type of book you’re reading. Also, like children, the important thing is you try to read every day for about 30 minutes.

Reading gives you the same benefits as children. An added bonus is when your little one sees you reading for fun, they may be more apt to learn by example. 


Is there an exact number of books everyone should be reading a year? Maybe not, but what’s important is that your little ones (and you) are carving out time in your day to sit and read. Everyone will build their vocabulary, improve their concentration, learn something new, and expand their imagination! 

Are you reading to bring the joy of reading back to the family? Let Caribu help! We have thousands of books to choose from to read together over video-chat with your loved ones.


5 Reasons Reading is So Important for Student Success | Merrimack College

When Children Are Not Read to at Home: The Million Word Gap | PubMed

How Many Pages Do They Read | Appalachian State University