Do you know that an astonishing 36% of people in England don’t read regularly? This is despite the all the evidence suggesting that reading can provide enjoyment, education, relaxation and better mental health.

Sunderland Libraries recently played their part in bringing the benefits of reading to more people by taking part in World Book Night.

For World Book Night – held annually on April 23rd – events take place all across the country to celebrate the joy of reading.

As part of World Book Night, Sunderland Libraries handed out 80 free copies of The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley. The books were given to people who don’t regularly read or don’t have many books at home.

One of those who received a free copy was Sylvia Reavley. Sylvia – who picked up her copy from Washington Town Centre Library – 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’s 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.”

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 rebuild 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.”

To learn more about Sunderland Libraries Services, please visit

(Featured image courtesy of Vladimir Pustovit, from Flickr Creative Commons)

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