1000 Books Before Kindergarten


1000 Books Before Kindergarten is an early literacy program offered by the library to promote reading to newborns, infants and toddlers.

Designed for children from birth to age five, this program helps children develop the tools they need to become proficient readers and encourages parent and child bonding through the activity of reading together.

The goal is to read 1000 books with your child before the child reaches kindergarten age. Incentives for parents and children will be provided along the way.

With the support of this program, we hope that you and your child will develop a love of reading and an appreciation for the library and discover the joy in reading together.


To sign up for this program, create an account for your family on Beanstack. You will be able to register and track your progress through our Beanstack webpage or the Beanstack app available on Google Play and Apple App stores.

Be sure to add your child as a reader and set their grade level to “Babies and Toddlers” or “Preschoolers.” Once set up, your child will be able to join 1000 Books as well as other seasonal reading and learning adventures. If you need help registering, email the Youth Services department at kids@princetonlibrary.org or visit the Youth Services desk during library hours.

You may register your child anytime until they enter kindergarten.


Spend time reading with your child every day. Everything you read together counts—even reading your child’s favorite book over and over again. Repetition helps to develop and expand early literacy skills. You can count books your child hears at library storytimes (virtual or in-person), at preschool, as well as reading with a sibling, caregiver, grandparents. It all adds up.

For recommendations, view our Storytime Shorts on YouTube or browse our book suggestions for kids, including our Storytime At Home guides. For personalized recommendations, complete a Personalized Picks request, and librarians will send you a curated list.

Log Reading and Earn Incentives

Log your reading in Beanstack to earn an online badge for every 100 books you read. Stop by the library when prompted to pick up any physical incentives.

You can also record your reading with a paper log, available at the Youth Services Information Desk. Bring your completed log to the library to pick up your incentive(s).

All incentives must be redeemed in-person within six months of completing the 1000 Books program.


Who can take part in 1000 Books Before Kindergarten?
Any child who hasn’t entered kindergarten yet can sign up for the program.
Do I need a Princeton Public Library card to register?
No, but you will need to visit the library to pick up any incentives.
Which books count?
Books that you, a preschool teacher, a caregiver and/or family member read to your child count towards your goal. Books read during Storytime at the library also count toward your reading goal. You may count audiobooks, ebooks and/or iPad apps that read or tell a story as books toward your goal.
If we read the same book multiple times, does each time count toward the 1000 books goal?
Of course! Repetition is one of the keys to learning to read, so each repetition counts toward your goal. If you read the same book three times, that counts as three books toward your goal.
How long will it take to read 1000 books?
This program is designed to be completed at your own pace. But consider this: if you read just three books a day with your child, in just one year you will have read 1,095 books together.
I have moved away from Princeton - will you mail the incentives to me?
No, all incentives must be picked up at the library.
What if I need help in Beanstack?
Email us at kids@princetonlibrary.org.

The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten name and logo are used with the express permission of The 1000 Books Foundation.

Scroll to Top