How Audiobooks Can Bring the Joy of Reading to Everyone

Reading has many recognised health benefits; from reducing stress and helping to combat memory loss, to boosting mental health. However for many, accessing printed books is not possible. Audiobooks can offer a practical solution, bringing the pleasure of reading to those that are restricted by physical disabilities.

Audiobooks and Wellbeing

If you were to ask Calibre members why they listen to audiobooks you would get a myriad of different answers. It absorbs them. It calms a busy mind. It redirects thoughts from their health and enables them to manage the day to day. It gives them access to worlds and experiences that are otherwise out of reach. But above all that, audiobooks bring them joy. 

Physical problems can effect a person’s overall wellbeing, creating secondary disabilities such as depression and anxiety. To help counteract this, research has shown audiobooks can be used to improve mental health in the elderly (ref. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) and have a positive impact on depression and other mental health issues. In addition, almost two thirds of those in a Reading Agency’s study said reading helped reduce their stress (ref. readingagency.org.uk).

Audiobooks Can Promote Independence

For those who are limited by a physical disability, audiobooks can provide independent access to reading and its associated benefits. Listeners are not dependent on someone else to read to them and can use specialist tools such as Calibre’s download app to play audiobooks themselves or with little assistance. For many, this small piece of independence and control can have a genuine uplift on their outlook.

''Many thanks for all your help in making it possible for Victoria to have your books with me helping her on her new (tablet). This brings her so much happiness.' Parent of a Calibre member

Calibre Audio Library

Calibre Audio Library is an audiobook charity for those unable to access printed books, whether it is from sight loss, dyslexia or a physical disability. There are almost 11,000 audiobooks in the library; all are unabridged, recorded by professional narrators and available for unlimited borrowing by our members. Books can be streamed online, downloaded using Calibre’s free app or borrowed via our free postal service on CD and memory stick.

‘Thank you for supplying a real lifeline. A very excellent and well run service. These books help me through the days keeping me occupied.’ Calibre member

A lifetime membership is just a one-off payment of £35 (including VAT) for adults and £20 for under 16’s, with no monthly subscription or any hidden costs. Group membership packages for care homes, schools and other organisations are also available. Visit calibre.org.uk or call our friendly membership services team on 01296 432 339 to join or for more information.

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