On April 23, 25,000 volunteers from Berkeley to Boston and Sitka to Sarasota will give away half a million free books in more than 6,000 towns and cities across the country.

World Book Night U.S. is a campaign to give thousands of free, specially printed paperbacks to light or nonreaders across America on one day. Volunteer book lovers help promote reading by going out into their communities and sharing free copies of books they love. The mission of World Book Night is to seek out those without the means or access to printed books.

Some of the volunteers in the Newton community will be picking up their books at Pages Books & Coffee and sharing them in locations as diverse as VA hospitals, roller skating rinks, mass transit, nursing homes, schools, food pantries, and more.

"We at Pages are proud to be a partner in World Book Night U.S. for a second year," store owners stated in a news release.

Pages will be hosting a pre-World Book Night reception the week before April 23. On Thursday, April 18, from 7 to 9 p.m., they are welcoming local givers to the regular monthly open mic event, "Off the Page," which launched a year ago with the first World Book Night. This year, they also be featuring local author and World Book Night giver, Ashley Bergner, who will be reading from, discussing and signing her debut novel, "Bait & Switch."

Bestselling authors Ann Patchett and James Patterson are this year’s honorary World Book Night chair-people. James Patterson said, “In my experience, when people like what they are doing, they do more of it. This is the genius of World Book Night: it gets people reading by connecting them with amazing, enjoyable books. I’m honored to be a part of it.”

“I’m very proud to be a part of World Book Night,” Ann Patchett added. “As both a writer and a bookseller, I’m all in favor of getting books into the hands of people who might not otherwise have access to them.”

The books were chosen by an independent panel of booksellers and librarians through several rounds of voting. The printing of the free books was possible due to the generosity of the authors, publishers and book manufacturing companies.

Although it is too late to be a giver this year, those interested in participating in the future can sign up for the WBN mailing list for news and updates on World Book Night 2014. The free WBN editions are not available in Pages Books & Coffee at any time, except for the WBN volunteers to take into the community, but they will be displaying the books in their regular editions all spring.

The World Book Night U.S. titles for 2013 include: "Fahrenheit 451," Ray Bradbury (Simon & Schuster Paperbacks); "The Worst Hard Time," Timothy Egan (Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); and "The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency," Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor Books/Random House).

World Book Night will take place on April 23, 2013. World Book Night in the U.S. is a non-profit organization and has 501(c)3 non-profit status. World Book Night U.S. is supported by publishers, Barnes & Noble, the American Booksellers Association, the American Library Association, Ingram Content Group, FedEx, printers and paper companies; a full list of sponsors is at the website.

For more information about World Book Night, go to www.WorldBookNight.org or find them on Facebook and Twitter: www.facebook.com/worldbooknightusa and twitter.com/wbnamerica.