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News from Listening Books

Work for Us

Interested in Working at Listening Books?

3rd August 2022

Are you looking for a rewarding role in a small charity? Then we want to hear from you! We are searching for a Membership Assistant to support us in reaching as many people as possible that could benefit from access to audiobooks. 

You can find out more, including a Role Description and Person Specification by clicking here or on the link below.

The closing date for applications is 23rd August.

Find Out More
The Listening Books Podcast Logo

Listening Books Podcast Special

21st July 2022

We've got a new Summer Special Podcast episode!

Episode Three - Reading Roundup: Summer Reads (Make Us Feel Fine) is now available for members and non-members alike to enjoy. Packed full of book recommendations and a very unfair quiz, click on the link above or on the button below to find out more.

Find Out More
Coloured Square. Text reads Top 10 Downloads June

Top 10 Downloads for June 22!

13th July 2022

Our Top 10 Downloads list for June is here! What were the books you enjoyed the most? Find out here or by clicking on the button link below.

Click Here

The Summer Listening Challenge 2022

23rd June 2022

Reading is a brilliant Summer Activity, so check out our Summer Listening Challenge!


At Listening Books, we love reading and especially audiobooks! This summer, we are encouraging all our younger members to read for fun during the summer holidays. Whether you love science fiction, history, fantasy, comedy, short stories or novels, we have a wide range of titles to choose from and enjoy.

Click here to find out more, or on the button below.

Use one of our handy booklets to record your progress, or create your own. Don't forget to share with us how it is going and what books you have enjoyed!

Find Out More
Volunteer's Week Logo 1st-7th June 2022

Thank You to all our Volunteers!

1st June 2022

Thank you to all our volunteers past and present, who have helped at Listening Books. Whether you have mended broken CDs, read for us, filed books or unpacked post, your help is invaluable to us and ensures we are able to continue supporting our members.

Thank You!

Audiobooks for the Half Term Break!

31st May 2022

Looking for an activity to fill your time during Half-Term?

Our audiobooks are the perfect half-term activity for those rainy days.  Whether you are looking for a good story, or something to help you with your homework, there is sure to be something in our catalogue for you to enjoy.  Maybe you'd like to read along? Check out our recommended read-a-long titles here.

 

 

Ready for your next book? Click here to visit our audiobook collection

Our New Partnerships!

18th May 2022

Did you know that as well as supporting individuals, we also work with various charities and organisations? These include schools, hospices and children's hospitals, delivering our audiobook service to those that need it most. 

We are very excited that this year we are also working with CISFA, Reading Friends, The Voluntary Network, Link Age Southwark, VASL and The Marmalade Trust.  With their support, we are able to reach even more people that can benefit from access to our extensive audiobook library. 

Click on the link below to find out more!

Find Out More

Top 10 Downloads

1st April 2022

Not sure what book to choose next? Every month we list the top books from the month before on our website. Check out the most popular audiobooks downloaded or streamed from the Listening Books collection in March! Updated at the beginning of every month. Click here or on the link below to view.

Click here to view the most recent Top 10

Are You Interested in Working at Listening Books?

31/03/2022

We have a fantastic opportunity for the right candidate to join our small team to help grow Listening Books' reach. This is an exciting time to join the charity following the launch of our new website and as we continue to grow our impact. If you have excellent organisational and research skills, would like to expand your experience in the charity sector and are interested in representing our charity that supports anyone with a print impairment, then we would love to hear from you.

To learn more about the role and to view the job description and person specification, click here or on the button below.

Find Out More
Jenny Eclair Press Photo Copyright Ray Burminston

Have you got questions for Jenny Eclair?

17th March 2022

Our next Ask the Author with feature our ambassador Jenny Eclair!

If you have any questions for Jenny and would like us to consider them for the interview, you can send them to us via our Twitter page, or email them to Emily at epye@listening-books.org.uk

Ask the Author is Back!

18th February 2022

Our Ask the Author series is back with a brand new interview! Cara Hunter, author of the Adam Fawley Detective series answers the questions you want to know the answers to, such as 'Are you a plotter or do you write by the seat of your pants?' and 'Have you ever come up with an alternative ending to one of your books after it's published, and thought 'I wish I'd thought of that when I was writing it!'?'

Thanks to everyone who sent in questions for Cara. Click on the video below or visit our YouTube channel to view the full interview.

The Listening Books Club 2022

15th February 2022

The Listening Books Club logo 2022

It's back for another year! Join our audiobook club on social media for plenty of title recommendations, discussion forums and themed listening challenges, all in a welcoming group of people who love books just as much as you do! Joining is free for members and non-members of Listening Books alike, so what are you waiting for?

Sign Up
Members' Choice Award Logo

And the winner is....

1st February 2022

We are very pleased to announce that the winner of the inaugural Listening Books Members' Choice Award is...

Robert Thorogood, for his novel The Marlow Murder Club.  You can borrow the book from our collection by clicking on the book title.

If you would like to hear the announcement in full, click here or visit the Members' Choice Award page on our website. 

Libby Logo - OverDrive

Important news about the Listening Books Service

21st January 2022

This year, Overdrive (our digital partner) will no longer be updating and maintaining the Overdrive app, or the feature which allows the downloading and transferring of books via a PC to a device such as an MP3-Player. 

If you have the OverDrive app and the Overdrive console (OMC) already installed these changes will not affect you for now, but we are encouraging all members to try out the new app called Libby. This app is also free and has much of the functionality of the previous app, plus many additional features.  

Although the OverDrive Media Console and app will still be usable, it will no longer be available to download online from the app stores, and it will no longer be supported by Overdrive from the 23rd February 2022.  

You can find out more about Libby and how to download and use it here.

If you have any questions or concerns about the changes, or would like help getting started with the Libby app, please get in touch on 020 7407 9417 or at support@listening-books.org.uk.

Black background with coloured fireworks drawings in the background. Text reads Happy New Year 2022 from Everyone at Listening Books

Happy New Year!

7th January 2022

We hope all our members and supporters had a good festive period.  We achieved a lot in 2021, and this new year is set to be even more special! Throughout the year we'll be adding more books as usual, bringing you more exclusive author interviews in our Ask the Author series, as well as revealing the winner of the Members' Choice Award 2021!

Keep checking our website or member emails for more of your favourite Listening Books content!

Gift Memberships

Gift Memberships 2021

6th December 2021

If you are looking for a last minute Christmas gift, don't forget that you can now purchase a gift membership to Listening Books online!  With thousands of titles available, an online audiobook membership makes the perfect gift for a bookloving friend or relative.  Click here to purchase today, or on the link below to find out more. 

Find Out More
Members' Choice Award Logo 2021

Members Choice Awards 2021

Voting is now open!

Voting is now open for the Members' Choice Award 2021!

Members can select two choices from our shortlist, and vote using the voting form in the most recent member email or on the Members Choice Award page of the website. Click here to view the nominees.

Voting closes at 5pm on November 19th.  

Find Out More

Work With Us!

5th October 2021

Are you interested in joining the Listening Books team?

 

We are looking to recruit a part-time Office Manager (21 hours per week) to support Listening Books' facilities and admin operations. Due to Covid-19, the role will initially entail hybrid working and will support a gradual return of staff to the office. This is an exciting time to join the charity following the launch of our new website and as we continue to grow our impact.

To find out more, click the link below or alternativley, click here to view the full role description.

Find Out More
Purple and Green square, with an Eagle owl in the centre, wearing headphones. Text reads Listening Books The Podcast

Episode Seven is now available!

24th September 2021

Episode Seven of The Listening Books Podcast is now live! Actor Helen Barford talks with Jessica about Judith Kerr's classic children’s novel When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, which she narrated for Listening Books' Sound Learning production.

Helen also shares some good advice for anyone interested in taking up audiobook narration.

Click here or on the link below to listen to the episode.

Listen Here
Purple background with a photo of a children and a teacher sitting at a desk and looking at a laptop. Text reads Back to School: New Term, New Books!

It's a New School Term!

15th September 2021

It's a new school term, and we've got lots of new books to see you through.  

Whether you're raring to go or wish you could have another few weeks off, we've got loads of audiobooks that can help you and your students get back into the swing of things.

School members can now access the wide range of newspapers and magazines provided through our partnership with PressReader, all for free. 

If you haven't already, contact our membership team at support@listening-books.org.uk to enable access to this service.

Contact Us

Work For Us

A purple background with white text that reads Work For Us

Do you love books?  Have fantastic customer service skills?  Are you willing to work hard to ensure our members receive the best possible service?  Then we want to hear from you.

We have a fantastic part-time role available as a Membership Support Officer available in our London offices. 

For more information, a full job description, and how to apply, visit our Work For Us page! 

Learn More

Listen to Newspapers and Magazines with your Listening Books Membership

Pale background with an illustration of a desktop computer, a tablet and a phone all showing the cover of Good Food magazine. Black text to the left reads Listen to newspapers and magazines with your Listening Books membership

We are delighted to announce that we have partnered with PressReader.

Listening Books are adding over 7,000 newspapers and magazines to their service by partnering with PressReader, the world’s largest digital content and distribution platform.  Members of Listening Books will now have access to thousands of newspapers and magazines from over 120 countries and in more than 60 languages – appealing to virtually all tastes. In addition, for the first time, Listening Books will be offering newspapers and magazines in foreign languages.  These are all offered at no additional cost to their members, with this new offering complementing the thousands of audiobooks they already offer.

By providing access to newspapers and magazines, Listening Books are ensuring their members can enjoy a growing range of content, whilst also ensuring members can feel connected to the world around them. 

Listening Books’ CEO Bill Dee says: 

‘Our new partnership with PressReader is a significant gain for our members and an exciting enhancement of our services. In addition to thousands of the very best audiobooks and our excellent podcast, we now add the option of accessing newspapers and magazines from the UK and around the world. This new service, which comes at no additional cost to individual members, dramatically extends our content and makes for a more complete reading and listening experience.’

PressReader’s James Fairbotham, Senior Area Manager, Libraries – EMEA, says:

“At PressReader, we believe everyone must have the opportunity to explore stories that matter to them as well as discover new interests. That’s why we created an accessibility mode for readers who rely on tools like assistive technology, whether they require access to content at learning centres, institutions, businesses, or at home. For those readers who otherwise may not be able to enjoy the gift of the written word, our partnership with Listening Books is key to ensuring reading remains inclusive and accessible for everyone.”

Start Listening

Episode Four of The Listening Books Podcast is ready and waiting!

7th July 2021

Author Claire Fuller talks with Jess about her latest novel, Unsettled Ground, shortlisted for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction, and her third novel, the simmering, suspenseful Bitter Orange. Claire reflects on the roles music and food play in her story-telling, and she describes how someone who never aspired to be a writer became one nonetheless.



You can borrow Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller from our collection here.

Listen Here

Episode Three of The Listening Books Podcast is available now!

14th May 2021

Photo of an eagle Owl on a purple background. Text reads Listening Books: The Podcast

If you've not yet listened to the podcast, you can find it here on our website.  We highly recommend it!

If you've enjoyed this episode, or others in the series, please leave us a review at www.Podchaser.com to recommend it to others. 

Listen Here

The Listening Books Podcast is Back!

Blue background with an owl wearing headphones on the right. Text reads The Listening Books Podcast: For every kind of reader, but especially for fans of audiobooks

The Listening Books Podcast is back for series 3!

This series is going to be bigger and better than ever. We'll have interviews with your favourite authors and narrators, light-hearted literary games, and plenty of book recommendations to keep you going!

The first episodes is live now, featuring an interview with author and podcaster Caroline O'Donoghue. 

Listen Now

Scheduled OverDrive Maintenance

04/03/2021

OverDrive is currently doing scheduled maintenance on their service. 

OverDrive provides the download and streaming service available through our website and on the OverDrive and Libby apps. As a result there may be some distruption to service today. 

We are sorry for any inconvenience caused. 

Arachne Press and Listening Books Announce Audiobook Plans

Arachne Press Logo - white background with a white spiders web that spells out Arachne Press

Independent small press Arachne Press have taken a leap into the world of Audio Books, with nine books due for publication this year to be simultaneously released as Audio books.

Arachne Press Director, Cherry Potts, says “Thanks to a grant from Arts Council England, we are able to take a broad spread of books into the audio market – short stories, poetry, a dystopian novel and a YA novel, plus three anthologies.

“We are pleased to be partnering with Listening Books for the mastering and remote production, while our actors work from a variety of home studios, from the professional to the airing cupboard! Lockdown has meant we needed to make the most of every route to the reader, and audio books fit well with our commitment to accessibility, and working with Listening Books means we are also supporting a charity with similar aims. An added bonus with this venture is that we can support actors prevented from working on stage.”

Claire Bell, Deputy Membership and PR Manager, at Listening Books says

“I’m delighted we are working with Arachne to produce these titles. Having launched our new website this year, we know how important accessibility is and are very happy to be working with Arachne to provide their titles in the audio format. Having provided an audiobook service to children and adults since 1959, this partnership will not only support the charity through Listening Books Productions,  but will make a whole new range of titles available for the print impaired.

Cherry Potts added “We are auditioning actors now, and are thrilled to announce that our YA novel, Zed and the Cormorants by Clare Owen, will be narrated by Sophie Aldred (Dr Who, Dennis the Menace).”

LGBT History Month

Pale background with audiobooks along the side and the headline LGBTQ+ Relationships

February is LGBT History Month in the UK, raising awareness of the history of the LGBTQ+ community in the UK. It's also a time to promote inclusion of the community and continued contribution to society, allowing LGBTQ+ people to live to their full potential. 

To celebrate the month, why not listen to an audiobook featuring an LGBTQ+ relationship? We've put together a collection of some of our favourites that you can borrow from our library, including classics, historical romance, and young adult audiobooks! 

Browse The Collection

Fall in Love with February's Audiobook Collection

Sepia background with two old illustrations of Victorian-era people reading books. Headline reads Old Romantics

February has arrived, and it's the month of love! 

As we'll probably all be spending the whole of the month in lockdown, why not treat yourself to a date with one of our classic romance novels? Narrated by people including Maxine Peake, Charlotte Richie, and Juliet Stevenson, you're bound to be swept away by these audiobooks.

Browse The Collection

Audiobooks for Remote Learning

A white background with an illustration of a teenage boy listening to audiobooks on the right and the main headline reading Audiobooks for Homeschooling

Suddenly found yourself homeschooling again?

School closures don't have to mean that you can't get accessible educational audiobooks. We've created a collection of audiobooks perfect for remote learning from home. There's everything from set texts, study guides and revision aids, to other fascinating non-fiction audiobooks for children. Plus, many of them have been recorded in our professional studios, which means they are often unavailable in audio format anywhere else! 

See The List

Try the 2021 Audiobook Listening Challenge

A purple background with white text headline that reads Try the 2021 Audiobook Listening Challenge

Looking to challenge yourself this year? Look no further than our new and improved Audiobook Listening Challenge! 

With 10 tasks to complete throughout the year (plus 5 turbo tasks for big audiobook listeners!) there's plenty of challenges to be had. If you've wanted to listen to more audiobooks, or try listening to different types of audiobooks, then this challenge is the perfect way to get started. 

Learn More

Lockdown Update

We will be able to continue our postal CD service through this upcoming lockdown.

As before, the majority of our staff are continuing to work from home, but at the moment some staff are able to make it into the office to continue to send and receive CD audiobooks on a part time basis.

Our digital download and stream service will always be available 24 hours a day, and we are still offering all members on a CD only membership access to our digital audiobook library during this time.

Email the team on support@listening-books.org.uk if you have any questions.

Contact Us

Winter Break

The Listening Books office will be closed from 24th December 2020 to 4th January 2021. During this time our phone lines will be unavailable, but you can send an email to our support team and they will respond to you as soon as possible in January!

Our online service will still be available 24 hours a day, so you can download and stream digital audiobooks from our library. 

Visit the library

2020 Special Podcast Episodes

A background that gradients from purple to blue. Headline reads Voluminous a Listening Books podcast

Our podcast has returned! We have two brand new special episodes dropping in your podcast feeds.

The first is an interview with Adam Buxton, author of Ramble Book, talking about what writing an autobiography is like, comedy, music, the 90s, and more! Find it wherever you get your podcasts, or on our website. 

And don't forget to review and subscribe!

Listen Now

Free Memberships Available in Northern Ireland

A purple textured background with white text in the centre that reads Free Memberships Available

We have funding available to provide a number of free memberships for people living in Northern Ireland. 

For those who would find it difficult to pay Listening Books' annual membership fee (starting at £20 per year) and live in this area, we have a limited number of free memberships available for access to our online and postal audiobook service.

So if you have an illness, disability, learning or mental health condition that is impacting on your ability to read or hold a book, then find out more about our memberships! 

Find Out More

Listening in a Winter Wonderland

A blurred background of Christmas decorations with a wood surface in focus in the foreground. On top of the surface are three audiobooks from left to right - Hogfather by Terry Pratchett, Let it Snow by Sue Moorcroft and Murder for Christmas by Francis Duncan

Snowy landscapes, presents galore, and maybe even a murder... Our collection of festive favourite audiobooks is here!

Browse The Collection

Our Top Ten is Back!

A rectangular image with text on top of green and purple blobs. Text reads Top 10 Downloads

If you've been missing our top 10 downloads then you're not alone - we've missed updating it! 

Luckily, it has returned! We'll be updating it the beginning of each month with some of the previous month's most downloaded and streamed audiobooks from our library. 

If you want to see what we've all been listening to then find the link in the menu under Library. Or, click the button below!

Top 10 Downloads
The logo of the MCKS Charitable Foundation

Donation Announcement

10/11/2020

We're delighted to announce that we have received a £5,000 grant from The MCKS Charitable Foundation UK. We’re so grateful for this generous support to help us continue our work. 

COVID Update

03/11/2020

We are pleased to announce we are able to continue our postal CD service through the November lockdown.

The majority of our staff are continuing to work from home, but we do have one member of the team who can make it into the office to continue to ensure you get your CD audiobooks. However we rely on Royal Mail, and can't predict how they will be affected, so if you haven't received your books do let us know. 

Our digital download and stream service will still be there for you, and we are offering all members on a CD only membership access to our digital audiobook library during this time.

Please email support@listening-books.org.uk if you have any questions.

The Technical Issue Has Now Been Resolved

16th October 2020

We are pleased to say that the technical issue that affected borrowing and listening to titles since yesterday evening has now been resolved.

You should now be able to access the Listening Books service on our website and using the OverDrive and Libby apps. 



If you are still having problems accessing the service, please contact our membership team by emailing support@listening-books.org.uk or calling 020 7407 9417. 

COVID Update

21st April 2020

Our online services continue to run 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week and although our offices are closed, you can still contact staff via email and telephone as normal. If you are a member who usually accesses our CD service, we are offering you a free upgrade to our download and streaming service for the duration of the lockdown period. If you need any help to use this service, please contact us on 020 7407 9417 or at support@listening-books.org.uk.

If you are unable to use the online service and have not yet spoken with a member of the team, please do get in touch on 020 7407 9417 or at support@listening-books.org.uk.

Technical Issues

16th October 2020

There is currently a technical issue which is affecting listening to books on our website, plus login for the OverDrive app and our OverDrive powered website.

We are working hard to get this fixed and do apologise for the inconvenience this is causing for members.

 

 

Brand New Books this October

An illustration of a woman listening to an audiobook in the top left and bottom right corners. Headline reads New audiobooks added to our Library

It's October and, predictably, it's rainy and dark outside, which makes this the perfect time to borrow one of the brand new audiobooks we've just added to the library!

If you're a fan of Adam Buxton's podcast then you'll love his memoir, Ramble Book. Or, if you're a big crime novel fan, then check out Sarah Pinborough's latest, Dead to Her. There's also the bestselling novel-in-verse The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, which was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and the CILIP Carnegie Medial in 2019. 

See all the titles we've added by visiting our library page! 

Library

Something Wicked This Way Comes...

A black background with a photo of a dog wearing a sheet with nose and eye holes cut out so it looks like a ghost. Headline reads Spooky Listens

...It's the scariest audiobooks in our library!

It's the spookiest time of year and we're getting in the spirit with a list of some of the most frightening audiobooks you can borrow from our library! 

Whether you like vampires and haunted mansions, or just want to listen to Hercule Poirot at a Hallowe'en Party, then try one of our terrifying titles on our Overdrive page. 

Take Me to the Spooky Audiobooks

Our New Website Has Launched

15th September 2020

We are delighted to introduce you to our new and improved website at www.listening-books.org.uk! We've worked hard to create our new site, we're very proud of it and hope you like it too. Most of you will be able to see the new website straight away, but don't worry if you can't! It may take a few hours longer to update for some users.  

For members, please check your emails as we've sent you some important information as well as details about all the amazing new features.  If you have any questions, please contact our membership team at support@listening-books.org.uk.

Happy Listening!

COVID Update

9th June 2020

We are delighted to say we are now able to safely operate a reduced service for our members who borrow our MP3 CDs, and have begun to send out more books. Our delivery rate will be much slower than usual - please do bear with us as we try and send out as many CDs as we can!

If you have CDs you have been keeping aside you can now send them back to us if it's convenient and safe to do so. If you'd rather not go out to post them at the moment, it's absolutely fine for you to keep them until you are ready to send them back. If you would like some more books, contact us on 020 7407 9417 or at support@listening-books.org.uk.