|Audio books for the blind provide an alternative to reading for those with vision loss due to macular degeneration and other retinal diseases.|
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.
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 ...
You can listen to your books anywhere using either headsets or a small speaker/docking set .
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:
$14.95 per month for 1 credit (equal to one audio book)
$22.95 per month for 2 credits (equal to two audio books)
$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.
Free 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.
A Books on CD Club membership is a great way to enjoy listening to your favorite author or genre of books minus the expense of buying separate books on CD.
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 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:
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 SupportLive, 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.
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 BookLender.com - Code: SAS
Free audio books on line can be found at Librivox.org. The books are limited to ones that are part of the Public Domain in the United States.
So think classics - like Moby Dick, The Count of Monte Cristo, or The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. However, there are many genres to choose from. Unlike purchased audio books these free audio books are read by volunteer readers, so the quality of the reader varies with some better than others. Not only is the book content important, but the voice needs to be appealing to you as well. You can listen to your selected book on line before you decide to download it to your iPod or electronic device.
I suggest you choose Librivox Pro app for $1.99 and you can skip listening to any adds. It's a small price to pay and well worth it. Go to Librovox and check it out ...
You can easily download and listen to audiobooks anyplace and
As your macular degeneration progresses you will need to find ways to
adapt. If reading becomes too difficult consider listening to audiobooks
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.