Audio Books for the Blind

Audio books for the blind provide an alternative to reading for those with vision loss due to macular degeneration and other retinal diseases.
audio books for the blind

Those with AMD can continue reading with the help of improved lighting, large print books and reading magnifiers. But as one's macular degeneration progresses reading becomes more difficult.

Another option for you is to listen to your books. Find a comfortable chair, put your feet up and listen to a new best seller or an old classic.


Audio Books on Line

Discount and free audiobooks are available from several sources. The website I like best is from Audible.com. The professional readers make listening to books a great alternative to reading.

Here is what one reader said about Audible:

"Just like to thank you for introducing me to AUDIBLE. The quality is amazing. I am reading 'Treasure Island' OK, I've read it before, but having it read to me now, I realize how much I missed the first time I read the book. I have often followed up on items mentioned in your newsletter, and feel the benefit for doing so."

William from the UK

Audio books can be downloaded to your computer, an iPod or to your Kindle reader. Just plug in your headsets and enjoy a great read in your favorite chair.

Audio books provide a nice, relaxing alternative to reading. Find a comfortable chair, put your legs up and listen to a new release or an old classic. Audible books are compatible with the software that is already installed on most modern computers, electronic book readers or as apps on other portable devices such as smart phones and MP3 players.

As an avid reader, I never knew that listening to books could be as enjoyable as reading them, until I discovered Audible.com (an Amazon company). Whether you like history, business, fiction, the classics or self help, there is no end to the variety and choices. The readers are professionals and the quality is so much better than the free audio books read by volunteers.  Click on the picture to try your free trial ...



Listen on Your Kindle Reader

Discount audio books on line can be downloaded right to your Kindle Fire HD (not the Kindle Paperwhite) if you have WiFi or are in a place where there is WiFi.

You can listen to your books anywhere using either headsets or a small speaker/docking set .

Special Offer - Get Your First 3 Months at Audible for $7.49/month!

Audible.com allows the same audiobook using one credit to be downloaded to 3 devices. So I have the same book on my iPhone, my iPod and my Kindle reader.

What I like about this feature is that you can download a sample before deciding you want to buy the audio book. I did this recently with the book, The Help. I loved the reader's voice and decided to download the entire audio book.

To download audio books you do need to have access to WiFi - the 3G network is just too slow. Browse and purchase your audio books from you computer and have them go right to your Kindle device - how it does this I do not know. I just know it works. You can also select audio books right from your Kindle reader. Here's how:

1. Press the "Menu" button,

2. Choose Shop in Kindle Store

3. Under Browse on the Kindle Store home page select Audible Audiobooks

Samples and purchases of audiobooks will download to your Home screen when you are connected via Wi-Fi. If you are not connected via Wi-Fi, the delivery will automatically resume once you connect to a Wi-Fi network.

I subscribe to the Audible membership in order to get the best prices on talking books for my Kindle reader. These audiobooks are read by professional readers who make listening to a book more interesting. In fact according to a discussion I had with Audible, most authors pick their own narrators.

Books are then recorded in a professional studio. Many audio books offer 1-5 different narrators - so you can pick your favorite narrator. Here are the different plans available:

Monthly Fee

$14.95 per month for 1 credit (equal to one audio book)

$22.95 per month for 2 credits (equal to two audio books)

Annual Fee

$149.60 for 12 immediate credits (equal to 12 audio books)

$229.50 for 24 immediate credits (equal to 24 audio books)

Just give it a try - the first audio book is free and if you aren't happy with it, you can cancel anytime. I love to read, but I have found listening to books is just as enjoyable when it's read by a professional reader.

Your Local Library

Books on tape are limited but they can still be found. My father-in-law who has wet macular degeneration likes to listen to books using his "old fashioned" cassette player. He knows how to use it which makes it easy for him.

There are several ways of doing it. If you have access to your local library, you can get used books on tapes or CD's for free.

Of course they need to be returned in a timely manner and if transportation to your library is a problem, you might want to consider renting books through the mail.

Books on CD Club

A books on CD Club membership is a great way to enjoy listening to your favorite author or genre of books.

books on CD club

For those who don't have the computer skills or the technology to download audiobooks, a simple solution is to listen to books on CD.

Professionally read books make books come alive. Instead of volunteer readers, actors read the books and use different voices for different characters. The most convenient way of getting your audiobooks is to join a books on CD club. The audio books on CD are sent right to your mailbox without you having to drive or to go any where and with no late fees :)

books on CD club

Books on CD rentals are available in every genre. Whether you have an expensive stereo system with a CD player or a portable CD player with headsets, you can listen to your favorite books at home or when you travel.

BooksFree offers a Books on CD Rental program that will save you lots of money over buying books on CD. It is available to people who live in the U.S. or Canada. I am a member and am enjoying the great selection and the professional readers that make the books come alive - even better than reading them. Here is how it works:

books on CD club

1. One book on CD from your selected list is sent to you

2. When finished, you return the CD in a pre-paid mailer

3. When BooksFree receives your returned CD they mail out another book on CD to you from your selected list

You can do this as often as want - there is no limit.  The benefits to this membership are:

1. Unlimited Rentals

Listen to as many audiobooks as you want to each month. As soon as you're finished with one, return your CDs to receive the next available title from your shelf.

2. Free Shipping BOTH Ways

The book club takes care of the shipping.

3. No Due Dates

This is my favorite. I am always paying late fees at my local library (:

4. No Late Fees

Whenever you're ready, send the books back and they'll send you the next available title from your rental shelf. There's never any rush.

5. Large Selection

Has more Than 11,000 titles

6. Customer Support

Live, real people are available 24/7 to help you with your order. I've called them several times and the customer service reps have always been very pleasant, eager to answer my questions and knowledgeable about the different rental programs.

Rent Audiobooks

The cheapest plan BooksFree offers is $23.49/month with the first month 50% off - which includes the books on CD and shipping both ways.

For someone like my 85 year old father-in-law who has wet macular degeneration but does not use a computer, we can discuss with him what books he likes and then select 15 - 20 books to put on his reading list as there is no hard copy catalog to use to select your books.

To go to their website and to read about their program click on this link.

Rent Audiobooks - 60% Off First Month at Booksfree.com - Code: SAS

Free Audio Books on Line Using an App

Did you know that you can download an app for less than $2 to your iPod, iPhone or iPad and then download free audio books? Free audio books on line are available from librovox.org. They are provided for free thanks to many volunteers.

According to their website, "LibriVox, volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain into digital audio (eg. mp3), and then make the audio files available to the world, for free (through our catalog, a podcast, and bittorrents)." The audiobooks can be downloaded and then listened to on your computer, iphone, iPod, lap top, CD player, or other MP3 player.

The difference between audio books for free and discount audiobooks is the quality of the reader.

Free audio books from LibriVox uses volunteer readers - so the quality will vary from book to book depending on how good the volunteer reader is. Volunteer readers read the books using a special software in their own homes. Volunteers record books that are in the public domain into digital audio (eg. mp3), and then make the audio files available to the world, for free.

I have downloaded several audio books from this website onto my iPod Touch. The quality of the reader varies with each book - some are better than others.  My favorite reader is Elizabeth Klett. You can download audio books for free at:

http://librivox.org/newcatalog/

Free podcast feeds are available here:

http://librivox.org/podcast.xml

When you go to LibriVox you can search by author, genres, title, favorite reader, most listened to, and recently added. I've downloaded audio books to my computer, my iPhone and to my iPod Touch.

1. Go to the App Store

2. Type in Audiobooks

3. Select AudioBooks HQ for $1.99

4. Select Your Book by Author, Title or Reader

It makes a huge difference who reads the book. At first I checked for Recommended Readers. Then I tried listening to books by those readers first. As you try different books you will soon be able to identify your favorite reader. When you stop listening to your book and come back to it later, it will automatically start off where you left it.

Podcasts

Podcasts are messages, sermons, and discussions on all different topics from politics, to health to spiritual inspiration.

Listening to podcasts opens up so many more areas of interests besides audio books. And many of them are free and are available from iTunes on Apple devices or the Podcast Republic app for those who need an Android app or who own Kindles.

You can easily download and listen to podcasts anyplace and anytime. As your macular degeneration progresses you will need to find ways to adapt. If reading becomes too difficult consider listening to audiobooks or podcasts. Listening to books can be just as fun and exciting as reading books. Those with macular degeneration can continue to enjoy their favorite authors and genres through books on tape, CD's or downloaded podcasts to their favorite electronic device.


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