Enjoying books with sight loss

We are a nation of book worms. Last year nearly 191 million books were sold in the UK. Some of us enjoy the thrill of a good novel to unwind and escape from the day. Others are drawn to the physical experience of a book; the feel of the pages as they become more and more worn, the smell of a brand new publication or the excitement of rooting through a bookshop to find a new read.

But what if you’re one of the 2 million people in the UK with sight loss? Despite there being less than 1% of the world’s books published in Braille, the good news is that there are more opportunities for partially sighted readers now than ever before.

Audio books are widely available through sites such as Amazon, Librivox, Lit2Go and Spotify. Our favourite however is RNIB’s Talking Books service which provides over 25,000 audio books free of charge to those with sight loss.
These are available via digital download, USB stick or ‘Daisy CD’. A Daisy CD can be played on a Daisy CD player, not the cheapest gadget but it gives much more control over playback.

If you opt for a USB stick, you will need a boombox MP3 player to play the book back. These ones are designed for visually impaired people and are easy to use. Digital downloads can be imported straight onto your iPod or MP3 player.

Don’t worry if this sounds too technical for you, our digital experts are here to help! Contact our digital support service and we can guide you through.