Macular Society
2,150 members992 posts

Getting used to audio books

The first time I tried to listen to an audio book I really didn't take to it. I found my mind wandering and then realising I'd missed the last few minutes. Sometimes I'd fall asleep listening to one!

Anyway, I kept with it and found that I've now got used to listening to books. I guess I had to learn how to do it. As a child I had to learn how to read. This was easier than learning to read the first time around though, much easier.

Wondered what experiences other people have had with audio books?

3 Replies

Hi Geoff,

Since no replies from others yet, I will reply from a Macular Society Helpline perspective.

Callers often mention that they have lost the ability to read a book which many love doing and it is a great loss to them. When we suggest audio books, this is often met with resistance. You are therfore not alone.

Incidentally, I have good sight and have tried audio books and found myself nodding off or not paying attention and having to 'rewind'; I guess this is part of the initial learning experience!

Where do you get your audio books from? Is it your local library?

Both the 'RNIB', tel 0303 123 9999 and 'Calibre' audio library tel 01296 432 339 have excellent huge audio libraries on a wide range of subjects.

I hope that this is helpful.

Best wishes


Macular Disease Society


Reading has always been my main hobby.

I've started using audio books since being diagnosed with MD earlier this year. Yes I do fall asleep sometimes (especially if I'm using headphones)- and unlike with a paper book, the book doesn't stay open at the page I fall asleep at! I've not really found a way round that yet.

I'm using books from Calibre - on an mp3 CD player.

I've also bought a sony mp3 player. I can download books onto this from my local library. It's been a really steep learning curve in terms of technology so each time I search for and borrow a new book is quite an adventure.

The good thing about using audio books is that the selection held by calibre is more to my liking than the paper books in my local library. The downloads available in the local library are gradually increasing.

So - all in all - definitely not as much to my liking as paper books are. However now I'm getting used to audio books the terrible fear I had of losing reading as a hobby is receding a bit.



I have been listening to audio books for several years now. I love being able to multi task. I put in one earphone when I leave to catch my train to work and the journey flies by. I also garden, iron or wash pots at the same time as listening.

I use calibre but I also buy from audible. I am often frustrated by the access to recent novels and the cost of an audio version. Don't get me wrong, calibre do a fantastic job but I want to read up to date books so I can keep up with the trends.

I have a;so found apps for my iphone which gives me free audio books. I haven't tried it yet but there seems to be quite a lot of choice, however not in the way of recent releases.

As I always have my phone with me and my earphones I always have a book handy if I have an unexpected wait, if I could see well enough to read this may not always be the case.

So enjoy !!!


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