Libraries across Sunderland played their part in celebrating World Book Night.
World Book Night is a national celebration of reading and books that takes place on 23 April every year.
Events up and down the country run by individuals and organisations, celebrate the difference that reading makes to people’s lives.
The Reading Agency estimates that 36% of people in England don’t regularly read despite the enjoyment, education and relaxation it can bring along with proven better mental health.
Debbie Hicks, Creative Director at The Reading Agency said: "This World Book Night, The Reading Agency launched 'A Chapter A Day' a challenge which encourages the nation to make time to read a few pages of a book a day, helping people across the UK re-build their reading habits.
“A Chapter A Day aims to help people either get into reading, or get back into reading and it’s about finding ways to switch off from the distractions of daily life – from smartphone notifications to the TV – when you want to read.”
As part of this national initiative, Sunderland Libraries Services handed out 80 free copies of The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley to people who don’t normally read for pleasure, or have many of their own books at home.
One of those picking up a free copy at Washington Town Centre Library, was Sylvia Reavley, who said: "I work next to the library but have never borrowed a book as I don't usually have time to read. I'll save this for my holidays."
Sunderland City Council Executive Director of Neighbourhoods, Fiona Brown, said: "We were delighted to support annual World Book Night, as another way to encourage more people to read and to promote Library Services.
"Libraries play a vital role in the community not only providing access to free books, but also ensuring that everyone has equal access to information and providing a range of events and activities for all ages.
"Library use has been proven to have positive outcomes on mental and physical wellbeing, social inclusivity and community cohesion. World Book Night is the perfect example of how libraries can reach their local communities, bringing more people through the doors and sharing the joy of reading with as many people as possible."