How many books should a 1yr old have?


And by books I mean board or cloth books. I put away my paper picture books very early on when I realised that they wouldn’t last long with a baby that likes to rip and chew. So I’m not counting those.

Our board books are a mix of gifts, shop bought books and charity shop finds. A few were tracked down on the internet after first discovering them in the library.

One of these is from AbeBooks and is my favourite: Leaves. It has full colour photographs of kids and babies enjoying leaves in different surroundings and each photograph is accompanied by a line of text. The text doesn’t rhyme but it does have great rhythm; I love reading it to Ben over and over, and he loves turning the pages and looking at the other bubbas. (I also bought Sticks and Stones but unfortunately they’re nowhere near as good as Leaves.)

Another current favourite, found in a charity shop, is I Kissed the Baby. Simple, bold illustrations with a simple story, and so much fun to read and act out. Mmmwah!

Anyway, back to the question, we have a bookshelf with five shelves, and I was looking at it the other day thinking it would be good to fill one shelf each year (in addition to library books which are kept elsewhere). And on his one shelf, Ben has just under 40 books. Is that a good number? I know that quality is better than quantity (we regularly read only a handful of the books pictured), but I am just wondering, what is the average number for a one year old?


  1. katepickle Reply

    I don’t think you can ever have too many books… can you?

    We have just begun to pass on some of our board books as my smallest is 3 and managed paper books without too much destruction by about 18- 2 years of age, and going through the box to give away there is about 50 books in it… which doesn’t count the 50 or so we are keeping because we can’t bare to part with them. So that is about 100 board books in nine years of parenting… doesn’t seem like much really!

    • Deborah Reply

      I would love to know the titles of the books that made it to your favourite fifty, the ones that you have decided to keep. Perhaps that’s a subject for a blog post one day? Which books and why they are favourites?

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