San Diego

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

San Diego Public Library’s 1,000 Books before Kindergarten is a fun, easy, and free way to start your child on the path to success!

Research shows that sharing books, conversations, and songs with young children builds language skills, contributes to their healthy development, provides skills to succeed in school, and helps assure that they will learn to love reading.

Can you and your child/children read 1,000 books before they begin Kindergarten?  Yes, you can! Reading 1,000 books is easier than you think.  You will reach your goal in 1 year by reading 3 books a day or 3 years by reading 1 book a day.

Mom reading with baby.

Register for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

How It Works

  • Register: Make an account online here.  Pick up a free bookmark at any San Diego Public Library location.
  • Track Your Reading: Every time you share a book, track the titles in your online account or use a paper log.  
  • Your Progress: As you make your journey through the program you will receive:
    • Your first 25 books = a 1,000 Books before Kindergarten Lanyard and a library card holder
    • Every 25 books = a digital progress badge
    • Every 100 books = a Smart Stripe to hang on your lanyard to proudly show your progress.  Earn your Stripes!  Read 1,000 books to collect all 10!
    • 1,000 books = 1,000 Smart Stripe and a Certificate of Completion
  • Keep Reading: Don’t stop now, there’s a lifelong love of reading to nourish!


1000 books smart stripes.

Tips For Sharing Books 

  • Provide a book-rich environment by keeping books throughout your home, in the diaper bag, and in the car.
  • Talk about the pictures in your books.
  • Attend a library storytime.
  • Read the same book over and over.  If you read I Love Trucks! 4 times last night, that counts as 4 books.

Father reading book to young daughter.