How Many Books Should you Have in Your House For a Successful Reader?

Wanna know what makes kids excited about reading books? Simple! Look in their current books of choice. If they aren’t reading, just look at whatever book you are reading.

Scholastic asked over 2,500 families with kids aged 6-17 detailed questions about their reading habits and according to a Scholastic’s survey, how much parents read is a major factor in how much their children read. I know… no duh! Scholastic also made some interesting findings that you can see here.

Since I know you don’t have a ton of time, I’ll give you the quick, high-level version of the study…

Strong Reading is of the Utmost Importance, Obviously!

Scholastics Reading Importance



They found that among the top predictors for “frequent readers” — kids who read for fun most days of the week — are whether their parents are frequent readers, whether the parents read aloud to the kid 5-7 days per week before the kid entered kindergarten, and whether the child actually believes reading for fun is important.

Also in the “Super Obvious,Was Research Really Required?” bucket: digital distractions like social media, computer/video games, and movies are more common among infrequent readers.

How Often You Read Books Matters

Reading Books OftenLess obvious? The average number of books in the homes of avid readers (205), compared to less avid readers (129); it’s common for a kid’s reading enthusiasm to decline at age 8; and 66-percent of infrequent readers say they would read more if they could find something they liked.

So, if your own kid isn’t as into the reading as you’d like, there’s the fix: buy a bigger bookshelf, fill it with more books, and keep feeding them options until something sticks.

Reading enjoyment declines sharply after age 8

Degree to Which Children Enjoy Reading Books for Fun

Base: Children Ages 6–17

Reading Decline

Love of reading tends to decrease significantly after age 8, so it is important that kids have a great foundation in reading early. Some things that may help this is reading to your child frequently and exposing your child to reading words and general phonics early.


Among children who like reading books more now (while older), the most common reason they give is that they are now better readers.

Reasons Children Enjoy Reading More Now Compared to When They Were Younger

Better Reader


Confident and competent readers continue reading after they learn to do it independently. Better readers want to read more because it is easier and the way you get better is to do it more often. To ensure this, it might be good to include a 30-minute reading session where the family reads together (their own separate books) at a specific day and time every week. It might be a great change of pace than the average ‘watching TV as a family’ time.

One way I decided to promote a general book/reading comfortability with my children is to have tons of books in their room. More books than actually toys. I usually had 3 books to every toy in their room (with no more than four toys in their room at once).

Below you will find my daughter (@ 15-month old) engrossed in a book independently.

Please let me know:

  1. How many books do you have in the house?
  2. How do you promote reading in your household?