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10th October 2017

Anxiety UK launch new partnership with Listening Books

Anxiety UK logoWe are excited to announce that we will be working with Anxiety UK, a leading mental health support charity, to provide additional support to Anxiety UK members who find it difficult or impossible to read due to their anxiety condition/disability/learning or mental health difficulty.

Anxiety UK’s Chief Executive Nicky Lidbetter said: “We’re extremely pleased to announce this new partnership with Listening Books on World Mental Health Day, as part of a package of services and support available to our members that are living with/affected by anxiety, stress and anxiety-based depression.  We know that reading can boost mental health and bring about feelings of relaxation and so we are delighted to be able to offer access to Listening Book’s services for our members.

Bill Dee, Director of Listening Books, said: “We are proud to partner with Anxiety UK to offer a discount for their members. A mental health issue like anxiety no longer needs to be a barrier to accessing the pleasure of reading. Audiobooks can offer comfort and escapism at any time of the day or night, and we hope that a Listening Books membership will help provide this for Anxiety UK members.”

You can read more about our partnership on the Anxiety UK website here.

6th September 2017

Back to School

It's the start of a new term already, so it's a great time to check out the amazing selection of educational titles we have in our catalogue. Audiobooks can help with understanding school subjects, increase vocabulary and comprehension, or just provide some relaxation and enjoyment! Click here to view our Back to School suggestions to download and stream!

14th June 2017

Coming soon!

We've been busy adding some excellent new titles to the catalogue and creating the Summer edition of our member newsletter, Connect. Look out for our interviews with authors Vaseem Khan and Michelle Paver and comedian Sarah Millican.

11th April 2017

Bank Holiday Weekend

The Listening Books office will be closed over the Bank Holiday weekend. All our online services will still be available, and we've added some excellent new books recently, including The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean by David Almond. You can view our whole catalogue of download and streaming titles here.

If you have any questions during the Bank Holiday, you may find the answer in our FAQs, or on the OverDrive help pages. Alternatively, send us an email to or leave us a message by calling 0207 407 9417 and we will get back to you as soon as possible when we return.

23rd February 2017

Stormy day? Stay in with a good book!

The Book of StormsOur Book of the Week is 'The Book of Storms' by Ruth Hatfield

Danny's parents are storm chasers-which sounds exciting unless you're the son who has to wait behind at home. And one night, Danny's parents don't come back. Stranger still, the sycamore tree in Danny's yard seems to have been struck by lightning, and when he picks up a fragment of wood, he can hear voices...including that of next door's cat, Mitzy. The stick is a shard of lightning that gives its bearer unnerving powers and it is very valuable. So valuable that it attracts the attention of a Sammael, an ancient figure of darkness and a buyer of souls. And he will do anything to get his hands on it... 

16th February 2017

Download & Stream Technical Issues

We are experiencing some technical problems with our OverDrive powered website today. Some members may experience difficulties viewing the online catalogue and selecting titles. We hope to have this issue resolved as soon as possible.

9th February 2017

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book imageCongratulations to all the winners of our recent member competition!

You've each win one a copy 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two' script, courtesy of the publisher, W. F. Howes, plus a bookplate signed by the scriptwriter, Jack Thorne! 

Set 19 years after 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' ends, 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' is the script version of the current West End play, so even if you can't make it to see the show, you can still find out what happens! It is based on an original story by J. K. Rowling and follows Harry as he grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, and we meet Harry's son, Albus, as he struggles with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. 

23rd December 2016

Christmas Closure

The Listening Books office will be closed from 3.30pm today (23rd December) and will reopen on the 3rd January 2017. All of our online services will still be available over the holiday period and we've added lots of new titles for you to try.

If you have any problems during this time, try our extensive FAQ page or the Overdrive Help Pages. If this does not answer your question, please send us an email or leave a message on 0207 407 9417 and we will get back to you as soon as possible when we return. 

21st December 2016

Final Book of the Week for 2016!

Tumtum and NutmegOur final #bookoftheweek for 2016 is 'Tumtum and Nutmeg's Christmas Adventure' by Emily Bearn, read by Bill Wallis, a beautiful tale of two little mice on a mission to ensure two children get some presents for Christmas.




14th December 2016

Our Book of the Week!

Oliver Moon book coverWe're getting in the Christmas spirit this week with 'Oliver Moon and the Christmas Cracker' by Sue Mongredien. Available to borrow on MP3 CD, Listening Books number 1171CD.



5th December 2016

The Listening Books office will be closed from 12noon today. If you have any queries, please leave a message on the answerphone or send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as we can on Tuesday 6th December. Our extensive FAQs on our website and the OverDrive Help pages will still be available in the meantime. We apologise for any inconvenience.

23rd November 2016

Audio Production Awards imageCongrats to our own #StephenFry for winning the Gold Award last night at the Audio Production Awards. This award recognises the outstanding contribution and achievements of an individual in the independent radio and audio sector in the UK.

Listening Books also received a nomination in the Best Audiobook/Readings Producer category, for our work recording educational titles for children. It was a great evening and congratulations to all the winners and nominees

23rd November 2016

Our Book of the Week!

Thumbelina and Other Stories Book ImageOur #bookoftheweek is 'Thumbelina and Other Fairy Tales' by Hans Christian Anderson' a lovely set of short stories for children and adults.

16th November 2016

Our Book of the Week!

What Happens in ParliamentOur #bookoftheweek is 'Citizen Guides: What Happens in Parliament?' by Dr Stephen Coleman. A very topical look at how we make laws, what MPs do and how it affects the individual.

9th November 2016

Our Book of the Week!

Oops I Lost my best friends book imageOur #bookoftheweek is 'Oops, I Lost My Best(est) Friends' by Karen McCoombie. Have a listen on this rainy day!

2nd November 2016

Our Book of the Week!

The Goffins: Lofty & EaveOur first #bookoftheweek for November is 'The Goffins: Lofty & Eave by Jeanne Willis and read by David Thorpe.




19th October 2016

Our Book of the Week!

Half a Creature From The Sea by David Almond book imageOur #bookoftheweek is 'Half A Creature From The Sea' by David Almond, the award winning children's author that brought us 'Skellig' and 'Kit's Wilderness', which are also available from our library.




10th October 2016

A Blockbuster of a Competition!

The Girl on the TrainWe all know the book is usually better than the film, but our new competition gives members the chance to find out! Enter now to be in with a chance of winning two bestselling audiobooks that are now major new films!

  • Now a film starring Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train is a psychological thriller telling the story of three intertwined women, with the audiobook narrated by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey and India Fisher! Gemma Arterton and Glenn Close star in the film adaptation of The Girl with All the Gifts, an emotionally charged thriller about Melanie, a girl with special gifts living in a dystopian future, who embarks on a journey.

The best news is the winning prize is a copy of both audiobooks, but we’ve also got two more copies of The Girl on the Train to give away as runner up prizes!

The Girl with all the GiftsHow to Enter

All you have to do to enter is click here and enter your details to be in with a chance of winning!

The competition is free to enter. Closing date for entry will be 7th November 2016. Entrants must be 18 or over. The winning prize will consist of one CD copy of The Girl on the Train and one downloadable copy of The Girl With All the Gifts. Full terms and conditions are available before entry.

You can also request a copy of The Girl on the Train right now from our library, by emailing the library or calling 020 7407 9417.

Good luck!

31st August 2016

Another fantastic Book of the Week!

To celebrate the imminent return to school for many members, our #bookoftheweek focuses on fun facts! 'That's So Gross - Human Body' by Mitchell Symons is full of interesting facts about the human body, this is a great book to ease you back into learning in the new term.

24th August 2016

Our #bookoftheweek is 'Comparing People From The Past: Mary Seacole, Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell' by Nick Hunter, read by Rebecca Crankshaw. This title supports the history curriculum for KS2, but is also just really interesting!

22nd July 2016

We’ve got a BIG FRIENDLY PRIZE up for grabs!

It’s a gloriumptious year because it’s 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl! There’s lots of squiffling things to do at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in the summer holidays to celebrate, like making BFG ears! Visit their website for lots more information!

Here at Listening Books we’re so excited about the release of the new BFG film that we’re running a wondercrump competition for our members to win a copy of the BFG audiobook narrated by David Walliams!

To win, all you have to do is answer a simple question. What does BFG stand for?

  • Big Fancy Giant
  • Big Friendly Giant
  • Big Famous Giant

To enter the competition, just click here!

The closing date for entry will be 12th August 2016.

The Roald Dahl shop have very kindly donated a copy of the BFG audiobook to us for our summer prize. You can view their whole range, including audiobooks here. They are part of the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, and all their profits directly contribute to the running of the Museum.

Good luck!

20th July 2016

Our Book of the Week!

Are angels everywhere? Are they our neighbours and friends? 'Undercover Angel' follows Elmo, and his new friend next door Kuba, who claims to be an angel and needs his help!

29th June 2016

Our Book of the Week!

For those who love the musical 'Blood Brothers' by Willy Russell, we have a brilliant text guide from CGP Publications to help you understand the play in more depth, particularly if you are studying for exams.

15th June 2016

Our Book of the Week!

We are reading about the body this time around with our #bookoftheweek. 'Your Body: An A-Z From Allergies to Zits' by Steve Parker covers topics including major body structures and processes (lungs and breathing, heart and circulation, etc) and individual organs, as well as how to deal with the changes experienced as we grow.

8th June 2016

Our Book of the Week!

It's that time of year when many are gearing up for the exam season. Our Book of the Week is 'GCSE English Writing Skills: The Study Guide' by CGP Publications, providing helpful advice on improving writing skills.

1st June 2016

Our Book of the Week!

How do we deal with oil spills and how do they affect the environment? All this and more is discussed in our #bookoftheweek from Jillian Powell.

25th May 2016

Our Book of the Week celebrates Shakespeare!

There is no better way to experience Shakespeare's work, than when it is performed by professionals. 'Henry V - SmartPass Study Guide' brings Shakespeare's play to life, and includes helpful analysis and critique.

18th May 2016

Our Book of the Week!

With our ever changing weather systems, it's getting hard to doubt how much we affect the environment around us. Our #bookoftheweek is 'The Global Environment' by Stephen Sterling, Sue Lyle and Lynette Aiken covers issues about globalisation and urbanisation to name a few.

11th May 2016

Our Book of the Week!

Our ‪#‎bookoftheweek‬ takes a french theme, with the famous Detective Maigret. 'Maigret Goes Home' by Georges Simenon, is a full cast recording featuring Maurice Denham in the title role.

4th May 2016

Our Book of the Week!

We are now into May and our Book of the Week is 'Dreaming in Black and White' by Reinhardt Jung. A tale not for the faint hearted.

27th April 2016

Our Book of the Week!

Do you want to make a change in your community? Take a listen to our Book of the Week by Michael Norton, 'How to be a Fundraising Champion: A Practical Manual for Young Activists'

20th April 2016

Our Book of the Week!

Two Weeks with the QueenIt's the Queen's actual birthday on Thursday 21st April, so our Book of the Week is 'Two Weeks with the Queen' by Morris Gleitzman, available on MP3 CD and as a download for our members, Listening Books number 8943CD.

13th April 2016

Our Book of the Week!

We all love a good mystery at Listening Books, so our Book of the Week is 'Death Cap' by Barry Devlin, featuring Franciscan Monk, Paolo Baldi!

6th April 2016

It's all about the children in this Book of the Week!

'Look After Me' by Aoife Walsh, available on MP3 CD, Listening Books number 12554CD. A vibrant tale of a brother and sister who find a baby, and decide to look after it themselves. They have no experience, and very little knowledge but they are determined to keep her safe.

16th March 2016

Our Book of the Week is classic comedy!

'The Blood Donor and More' is our book of the week. Featuring an all-star cast of comedy talent in classic Galton & Simpson situations!

9th March 2016

Our new Book of the Week!

Our new Book of the Week is 'Breaking the Rules' by Sandra Glover. Sometimes rules are made to be broken!

7th March 2016

Check out our Book of the Week

Have you listened to our current Book of the Week by David Orme? Sports Zone: A Crazy Sport explores the triathlon and what makes up this unique event. Visit our Book of the Week page here to find our more, or email the library at to add it to your CD request list.

22nd February 2016

Problems with login over the weekend

Unfortunately, some members may have had trouble logging into the website at the weekend. This has now been resolved and we are looking into what could have caused this issue.

These issues also seemed to affect those wishing to join Listening Books. You can now join online, or alternatively please contact the library team on 0207 407 9417 or email, they will be happy to set up the membership for you.

4th February 2016

Competition Winner Announcement

Congratulations to Lara, who has won our Winter Competition 2015! All our great Harry Potter prizes are on their way to you, so we hope you enjoy them.

Thanks to all members that took part, we'll have another fantastic competition coming soon!

20th January 2016

Essential Website Maintenance

Due to some essential maintenance work, the main Listening Books website ( will not be available from 12 Midnight on Friday 22nd January.  All work will be completed by midday on Saturday 23rd January, however some users may not be able to access the website until the following day.

Members will still be able to access our download and streaming titles through our OverDrive powered website ( throughout this period.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.  

6th January 2016

Thank you

Thank you to The Louis Baylis (Maidenhead Advertiser) Charitable Trust for their grant of £1,000, which will enable us to provide membership to those in Windsor and Maidenhead who could benefit from access to our audiobook library, but who would struggle to pay our subsidised membership fee.

Visit to find out more about their work.

4th January 2016

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all our members, friends and supporters. We'll be adding lots of new books to our catalogue this year, as well as many other exciting developments, so don't forget to keep checking our website and social media pages during the year.

15th December 2015

Extra titles on MP3 CD

The Listening Books library will be closed from Thursday 24th December until the 3rd January 2016. Don't forget, there is still time to request an extra book on MP3 CD during this period. Please contact the library on 0207 234 0522 or email

We've had a few delays with our post deliveries recently, so if you have returned titles to us but have not yet received a replacement, please contact the library on 0207 234 0522.

25th November 2015

Listening Books Christmas cards for sale

Our Christmas cards are now for sale, priced at only £1.00 for a pack of 10. All profits come directly to Listening Books and will help us to continue to provide our service to as many people as possible. Please follow this link to download an order form. Alternatively, telephone the library on 0207 407 9417 to place your order.

We would once again like to thank Raymond Briggs for his fantastic design and generosity.

23rd October 2015

Lots of new titles available!

We've been adding 100s of new titles to our catalogue in the past few weeks, including titles from bestselling authors such as Jackie Collins, Alexander McCall Smith and Michael Scott. If you have any suggestions of titles you would like us to include in our catalogue, don't forget you can contact the library on 0207 234 0522 or by emailing to let us know.

16th October 2015

Listening Books catalogue

We are experiencing a few technical difficulties with our website catalogue, which we are working to fix. Members will still be able to view and download or stream titles from our OverDrive powered website at We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

6th October 2015

Thank you

Thank you to The Freemasons' Grand Charity for their grant of £25,000 to support our ‘Books for Hospices’ mini-library service to UK hospices.  We are hugely grateful for their support, as well as of that of our other funders. As our director, Bill Dee, says

'Listening Books’ Books for Hospices project provides an excellent mini-library audiobook service to UK hospices. We bring escapism and relief from pain and anxiety through the therapeutic benefits of the spoken word. Thanks to the generosity of The Freemasons' Grand Charity, Books for Hospices will now be expanded to reach hundreds more hospice patients around the UK.'

2nd October 2015

Christopher Paolini interview now available!

We couldn't wait to make this available through our newsletter, so members and fans of the author can access it now through our new Medium page here. For those who want to get started with his fantasy series, 'The Inheritance Cycle', please visit the members area to request it on CD, or listen or download the titles from our website.

24th September 2015

Changes to app for Android, Chrome and iOS users

  • The download button has been changed when borrowing titles in the Android, iOS, and Chromebook app experience. Users will now see the option to 'Add to App' instead of 'Download.' This wording is more consistent with the user’s actual in-app experience and will not affect buttons for those using a computer.

7th September 2015


Terry Deary Book

We recently had some signed Terry Deary audiobooks to give away to the first member to get in touch. Congratulations Harry! We hope you enjoy your new books.

If you were unlucky this time don't worry, as we have a fantastic Harry Potter competition coming soon! Details will appear in the Winter edition of Connect.

28th August 2015

We are now on Instagram!

As well as Facebook and Twitter, we're now on Instagram! Follow us for book tips, recordings, and lots more. Visit

30th July 2015

The Listening Books catalogue

We're currently updating the catalogue on our website. This may mean that some genre categories seem to have less books in than usual but this is only temporary and we will be adding additional books in the next few weeks.

16th July 2015

Server issues

Unfortunately our office is experiencing some problems with internet access which is affecting our email service. We will reply to your emails as soon as our connection resumes.

8th July 2015

A brand new way to stream our audiobooks!

We are so excited to announce that our streaming service is now even easier! Members are able to stream all the books in our downloadable library on almost all devices through OverDrive Listen. Therefore, if you don’t need to download the book you can listen to it live from your computer (including Macs) or mobile devices.

26th June 2015

Extra downloads until the end of June

As there is now less than one week left until the WMA audiobooks on our downloadable service disappear, we have raised everyone’s allowance for this week only. This should give you more of a chance to listen to any of the books before they are removed for good. Once they have gone, all the titles in our downloadable catalogue will be in the MP3 format which you can listen to on almost all devices and return earlier, giving you a higher allowance each week of up to 10 audiobooks.

15th June 2015

Our WMA titles

Please be aware that the WMA titles are not currently searchable on the Downloadable website due to a technical problem. However, they can be found under the heading 'Limited WMA Titles'. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and hope to have this issue resolved shortly.

28th April 2015

Lots of great new download titles coming soon!

We will be adding some fantastic new downloadable titles to our library catalogue in the next few months, meaning there will be lots of new books for members to enjoy! Keep checking our website for updates.

16th February 2015

Congratulations to our Winter Competition Winners!

Members Wendy, Sophie and Annie are the winners of our Winter competition. They've each won a signed copy of Stephen Fry's audiobook 'Stephen Fry: In His Own Words'.

We will be posting the winning entries on our Facebook page throughout the week

If you would like to request any of the titles reviewed, please contact the library on 0207 234 0522 or at

10th February 2015

Useful guide for Dyslexic adults

Are you a dyslexic adult and find reading difficult? Then this guide will give you some advice on how you can access books and suggests resources that you may find useful. With great suggestions of how to read text in different ways, and referring to the benefits that reading can bring, this free guide is a very useful resource. If you would like to download a copy, you can do so through this link

23rd December 2014

Our Winter CompetitionImage of Stephen Fry

Our wonderful patron Stephen Fry has kindly sent us some signed copies of his audiobook 'Stephen Fry: In His Own Words' for our members' winter competition. If you would like to win one of these signed copies, all you need do is write a review of one of our audiobooks and send it in to us. We'll then pick our number 1 favourite from the entries after the closing date. It's that simple!

Send your competition entries to with your membership number and the title of the book in the subject line.  Alternatively, you can post entries to our offices at 12 Lant Street, London, SE1 1QH, or return them with you latest CD.  If you prefer, you can post them straight to our Facebook page.  

We'll be making all the reviews available on our website at the end of the competition.  The closing date for entries is Friday 6th February.  Good Luck!

22nd December 2014

Extra titles on MP3 CD

The Listening Books library will be closed from Thursday 25th December until the 5th January 2015. Don't forget, there is still time to request an extra book on MP3 CD during this period. Please contact the library on 0207 234 0522 or email

4th November 2014

Listening Books Christmas cards for sale, exclusively designed by Raymond Briggs!

Listening Books Christmas cardOur Christmas cards are now for sale, priced at only £1.00 for a pack of 10. All profits come directly to Listening Books and will help us to continue to provide our service to as many people as possible. Please follow this link to download an order form. We would once again like to thank Raymond Briggs for his fantastic design and generosity.

29th September 2014


The issues with our Downloadable website have now been resolved and members can login and select titles to download.

29th September 2014


Some members may be experiencing difficulties logging in to their account. We hope to have this issue resolved as soon as possible.

17th September 2014

Listening Books Website

We will be having some essential maintenance work done to the Listening Books website this evening between 8pm - 9pm. Members may not be able to access the website during this time, however we will endeavour to keep disruption to a minimum.

13th August 2014

New Staff at Listening Books

Two new members of staff have recently joined Listening Books. Amy will be working as Copyright Co-ordinator to cover Fiona’s maternity leave and Helen will be working as our Membership Recruitment Administrator. We would like to take this opportunity to welcome them to Listening Books and we look forward to working with them. If you would like to suggest titles for our library, please email Amy at and if you know of anyone that would struggle to pay our membership subscription, please contact Helen at

Simon Brett in our studios31st July 2014

Author Simon Brett visits Listening Books

The fantastic Simon Brett, author of the Charles Paris books, visited our studios recently to be interviewed for our newsletter ‘Connect’. He provided a great insight into his life and work and you can enjoy one of his audiobooks right now! Simply login and search for one of his titles through Our Library, or contact us on 0207 234 0522 and our staff would be happy to help.

We’d love to hear from our members about other authors they would like us to get in touch with and perhaps you can be hearing from your favourite author in an upcoming edition of 'Connect'. Contact Claire at with your suggestions.

9th July 2014

Library Telephone

We are experiencing problems with our direct dial library telephone. If any members wish to contact the library, please use the mainline telephone number which is 0207 407 9417 for the remainder of today. You can of course email us at with any queries if you prefer.

3rd July 2014

Listening Books Building

We will be having some essential maintenance work done to the Listening Books building on Monday 7th July. This shouldn't affect online services, however, members may not be able to contact the library at some points during the day. Please email or leave a telephone message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

29th April 2014

Listening Books Emails - Update

We are pleased to say that we are now receiving emails again, and we will be replying to all those who emailed us since Friday as soon as possible. The disruption was out of our control and we are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

28th April 2014

Listening Books Email Outage

We are currently having difficulties with our email service. The issue is currently being dealt with and normal service should resume shortly. If you have tried to contact us via email since Friday please be aware that we may not receive it on resumption of the email service.

17th April 2014

Listening Books and Independent Age

It is an exciting time here at Listening Books. We are teaming up with Independent Age, an established and growing charity supporting thousands of older people across the UK. Through Independent Age we will now be able to offer members the opportunity to be part of a book group, meaning you can discuss the audiobooks you are reading with others. There is no extra charge for being part of a book group.

Please note these book groups are run and managed by Independent Age and are not run by Listening Books. As such anyone over 60 years of age can take part, not just Listening Books members.

28th March 2014

OverDrive Support for Blackberry device users

From 10th April, OverDrive will no long offer the OverDrive Media Console app for Blackberry, Blackberry 10 and Playbook device users.

BlackBerry users with the app installed prior to 10th April will be able to continue downloading audiobooks via OverDrive Media Console. However, no further development or testing will be dedicated to it.

In the past year, OMC for BlackBerry has experienced a steady decline in downloads. After much consideration, OverDrive has decided to remove the app from BlackBerry App World and continue to focus its development efforts on more widely used platforms such as iOS and Android—both of which have more daily downloads than BlackBerry has monthly.

5th March 2014

Listening Books Website

We will be undertaking some essential maintenance to the Listening Books website on Wednesday 6th March at 10am. This may cause the website to be temporarily unavailable, however we will endeavour to keep disruption to a minimum.

LGfL BETT Award28th January 2014

BETT Award for LGfL

Congratulations to our partners at LGfL for winning the 2014 BETT Award for their History of Computing resource.

Working with E2bN and The National Museum of Computing, this award in the Digital Collections and Resource Banks category recognised the great work they have done to enable school aged children to fully engage with the ICT subject.

24th January 2014

Updates to OverDrive Media Console

OverDrive has announced new versions of the OverDrive Media Console (OMC) for Windows. Both the classic desktop version of OMC for Windows and the Windows 8 app have been updated to provide a better user experience and improved performance.

OMC 3.3 for Windows (the classic desktop version) includes some design updates and support for integration with OMC 3 for Windows 8. Users can download the latest version of OMC for Windows from the OMC website.

21st January 2014

Shakespeare Week

We recently interviewed Elizabeth Dollimore from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust about Shakespeare Week, an event taking place in March which we are involved in. Keep checking our website for further news and to hear some great interviews from the likes of Zoe Wanamaker, Simon Callow and others.

20th December 2013

Extra titles on MP3 CD

The Listening Books library will be closed from Wednesday 25th December until the 6th January 2014. If you would like an extra book on MP3 CD during this period, please contact the library on 0207 234 0522 or email

Sue Arnold's
audiobook choice
  • Reading group: which post-apocalyptic no...

    Many books have exploded, submerged and zombiefied humanity in fiction. With the world’s end feeling nigher than ever, help choose a tale of doom for November

    Tue, 24 Oct 2017 08:20:18 GMT
  • On Balance poetry review – an imaginatio...

    Sinead Morrissey’s On Balance, which has just won this year’s Forward prize, is a collection that keeps extending itself and that shares many of the satisfactions of fiction, memoir and history (there is an especially arresting poem about a model of Napoleon’s horse, another fine poem about the aviator Lilian Bland and an astounding poem based on a garish photograph of tsarist Russia). Even the poems that cross the finishing line with a flourish are open-ended, leaving one with the sense that there will always be more to say, and this is because Morrissey is possessed of her own invigorating brand of Irish fluency and an imagination that never closes.

    Tue, 24 Oct 2017 06:30:39 GMT
  • Tom Hanks's writing is yet another sad s...

    The actor’s debut collection, Uncommon Type, is blighted by Hollywood’s obsession with female bodies – but he’s not the only author to write too much about hair and breasts

    Mon, 23 Oct 2017 12:52:27 GMT
  • Tips, links and suggestions: what are yo...

    Your space to discuss the books you are reading and what you think of them

    Mon, 23 Oct 2017 14:00:19 GMT
  • Pablo Neruda: experts say official cause...

    Panel of 16 experts says that when the Nobel prize-winning poet died in 1973, there was no indication of the cancer that was supposed to have killed him

    Mon, 23 Oct 2017 09:50:23 GMT

Ouch news
  • Do blind people care about colour?

    Ambulances were white when Damon lost his sight over 30 years ago and Lucy’s mental image of her sister, Alice, hasn’t changed since she went blind in 2013. Having been bo...

    Wed, 18 Oct 2017 23:00:00 +0000
  • 'I'm wearing a tight T-shirt so I know w...

    Is Robyn the only autistic person who doesn’t love fidget-spinners? And what's this about Jamie's T-shirt? We gave two autistic people free rein in a studio with a tin full...

    Thu, 12 Oct 2017 23:01:00 +0000
  • Can 'sex robots' help disabled people?

    They're talked about a lot at the moment, but can "sex robots" help disabled people? Also, the disabled teen punk who left home to find an independent life for herself in ...

    Fri, 06 Oct 2017 15:29:00 +0000
  • Why I shouldn't meet others with cystic ...

    Vlogger Charles Michael Duke, 22, posts comedy songs and videos about life with cystic fibrosis on YouTube. People with CF shouldn’t meet face to face due to fear of cross...

    Fri, 29 Sep 2017 14:38:00 +0000
  • Gay and disabled

    Being part of the male gay scene can be tricky when you “wobble and spasm like I do” says Robert Softley Gale. The actor with cerebral palsy says there is also a lack of ac...

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:51:00 +0000

Education news
  • Dentist fines: Mistakes over addresses h...
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Listening Books Christmas card7th November 2013

Listening Books Christmas cards for sale designed by Raymond Briggs

Our Christmas cards are now for sale, priced at only £1.00 for a pack of 10. All profits come directly to Listening Books and will help us to continue to provide our service to as many people as possible. Please follow this link to download an order form. We would once again like to thank Raymond Briggs for his fantastic design and generosity.

17th September 2013

Phone line

We are currently experiencing problems with our telephone line. Unfortunately this is out of our control and we hope to be contactable on our usual phone numbers shortly. Please feel free to contact the library directly on 0207 234 0522 or email us at

14th August 2013

Our Downloadable Website

On Wednesday 14th August, from 12- 2PM, OverDrive will be carrying out essential maintenance work on our Downloadable website. During this time, the site might be temporarily inaccessible to some users. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

13th August 2013

Article is a website that is aimed at ‘helping you to help them’, whether it is your elderly parent, older friend or relative. Throughout August, they are featuring an article about the benefits of our audiobooks for the elderly. Visit their website and have a read!

Nominet Internet Awards at The British Library5th July 2013

Listening Books receives a "Highly Commended" at Nominet Internet Awards

We were very excited to attend the Nominet Internet Awards at the British Library last night where we were shortlisted in the Online Skills and Training category. This was for our work with educational grids, giving access to curriculum-based audiobooks to pupils with print impairments via their schools’ Virtual Learning Environments. Though we didn’t win, we were thrilled to receive a “Highly Commended”. Thank you to all of you who visited the Nominet site to express your support and a big congratulations to all of the winners and shortlisted organisations. There are many brilliant online initiatives out there and it was a pleasure to find out more about them. Thank you also to the organisers for arranging a fantastic evening. For more information on the awards, visit


21st June 2013

National Care Home Open Day

Today is National Care Home Open Day, where members of the public can visit participating care homes in their community, get to know the staff and residents and take part in some great activities. Find out more about the services we offer to care homes here.

20th June 2013

Our Downloadable Website

OverDrive are currently experiencing some problems with their service and this may mean that some members will have difficulty accessing their Downloadable account. OverDrive are working hard to rectify this situation as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

12th June 2013

Essential Building Work

On the afternoon of Wednesday 12th June, we will be carrying out essential maintenance work on the Listening Books building. During this time the website and other Listening Books services may be temporarily inaccessible to users, though we will be aiming to keep all downtime to a minimum. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

1st May 2013

Listening Books shortlisted for Nominet Internet Award!

We were very excited to learn that our ‘Sound Learning through Educational Grids’ project has been shortlisted for a Nominet Internet Award in the ‘Online Skills and Training’ category. This project was conceived to offer an even more accessible educational audio streaming service to pupils than the one we traditionally offer. We have been granted permission by a selection of publishers to offer print-impaired pupils access to over 100 titles—especially recorded to support the National Curriculum—through their schools’ learning platform using ‘Shibboleth’ technology. This means that pupils or their teachers need only sign into their usual online learning resources centre in order to access these audiobooks, rather than having to first sign into the Listening Books site to download a licence as is the case with our traditional streaming model. By integrating this streaming service into schools' existing learning platforms, we have made it easier for pupils and teachers to source these vital learning tools. To date we have partnered with three educational grids across the country and further adapted the project as we went, helping us to reach a potential audience of over 30,000 children and young people who struggle to read the printed word.

Educational grids are organisations that oversee the Information and Communications Technology needs of many schools across their respective counties. As it was our objective to reach as many pupils in need of audiobooks due to print impairments, we decided to offer this service direct to educational grids in addition to signing up individual schools for membership.

Nominet, one of the world’s leading internet registry companies, devised the awards to celebrate the internet as a force for good. We truly believe in the importance of using the internet and all that it offers to continue to provide access to education to many more children and young people with print impairments through their educational grids. You can show your support for Listening Books by visiting, choosing the online skills and training category and selecting Listening Books as the entry you would like to support. We’d be very grateful.

26th March 2013

Our Downloadable Website

If you have been using our download service, you might be interested to know that the OverDrive site is due to undergo a few changes in the next couple of weeks. We are assured that the result will be a faster and more intuitive way for you to access audiobooks. You can find further details here. Please ignore the information relating to e-books and ‘OverDrive Read’ as these formats are not available via Listening Books. Once the site goes live, please don’t hesitate to contact us should you require further instructions or assistance with downloading audiobooks.

Listening Books Christmas card7th November 2012

Listening Books Christmas cards for sale designed by Raymond Briggs

Our Christmas cards are now for sale, priced at only £2.00 for a pack of 10. All profits come directly to Listening Books and will help us to continue to provide our service to as many people as possible. Please follow this link to download an order form. We would once again like to thank Raymond Briggs for his fantastic design and generosity.

31st October 2012

Our Downloadable Website

OverDrive are currently experiencing some problems with their service and this may mean that some members will have difficulty accessing their Downloadable account. OverDrive are working hard to rectify this situation as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

10th July 2012

How the Olympics may affect your Listening Books' service

The Olympic Games are due to take place in London between Friday 27th July and Sunday 12th August with the Paralympics set to follow between Wednesday 29th August and Sunday 9th September. To ensure members continue to experience the best possible service, in case of any postal disruptions throughout this time, we would like to offer you the choice of increasing the number of CDs you receive. If you would like to raise your audiobook allocation during this period, please contact our library team on or phone them direct on 020 7234 0522.
The online services (streams and downloads) will continue to be available throughout the Olympic Games. Please contact us if you need a reminder of your username and password or require any instructions.
Listening Books will continue to be staffed and we will do all we can to ensure the smooth running of your service throughout the summer months.

19th June 2012

Phone line

Our phone line is currently unavailable. Unfortunately this is out of our control and we hope to be contactable on our usual phone numbers shortly. Please feel free to email us on

4th May 2012

Essential Website Work

On Tuesday 8th May, from 1 - 3 AM, we will be carrying out essential maintenance work on this website. During this time the site may be temporarily inaccessible to some users, though we will be aiming to keep all downtime to a minimum. You can visit our download website directly as this will be live throughout.

Hilton in the Community Foundation logo25th April 2012

Hilton in the Community Foundation

We are pleased to announce that the Hilton in the Community Foundation has awarded us a grant of £15,000 so that we can expand our service into children’s hospices across the country. The money will allow us to provide mini libraries of 200 audiobooks to various children’s hospices across the UK. To read more about our books for hospices project, please follow this link. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our generous funders who have made and continue to make this project possible.

Image of Joe Simpson climbing a mountain23rd April 2012

World Book Night Interviews

Tonight marks the second annual World Book Night which sees over one million copies of twenty-five specially chosen books being given away across the country. To celebrate we spoke to two of the authors on the list, Meg Rosoff and Joe Simpson about their involvement.
Photograph supplied by

You can listen to these interviews by clicking below:

Meg Rosoff
Joe Simpson

You can borrow 'Touching the Void' by Joe Simpson on MP3 CD, book number 7089, while 'How I Live Now' by Meg Rosoff is available to download now. The full list of 25 books is available here and you can borrow a number of the selected titles from us

11th April 2012

Opt-in message on our Downloadable website

To comply with forthcoming UK and European Union requirements regarding the use of cookies, OverDrive (our Download host), is placing an opt-in message regarding cookies on our Downloadable website. This new message will require members to opt-in to receive cookies to continue using all the features of the website. The message also provides directions on how to disable cookies should you choose not to accept the necessary cookies on your computer. For more information regarding cookies, please visit If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

22nd March 2012

Essential Maintenance Work

At 12.00pm on Monday 26th March, OverDrive, our download partners will be undertaking additional maintenance to OverDrive systems . The work will mean that there may be a brief interruption to download fulfillment during this maintenance work. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

PBFA Logo31st January 2012

Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association supports Listening Books

We are thrilled to tell you that the PBFA have chosen Listening Books as their nominated charity. Founded in 1974, the Association was originally set up to hold book fairs to enable provincial booksellers to sell books in London. The PBFA now have around 530 members and organise about 90 fairs per year. They will be showing their support for Listening Books by displaying the charity’s promotional materials and collection boxes at a number of their fairs. You can visit their website to find out more about upcoming events.

Member using the streaming service19th January 2012

London Grid for Learning Partnership

We are delighted to announce that we have worked with London Grid for Learning to ensure that pupils across London who struggle to read are given access to a wealth of curriculum based audiobooks. Thanks to this exciting new partnership, over 2000 schools in London will now be able to access more than 100 audiobooks for education through the LGfL website via single sign on Shibboleth technology. For more information, please visit

4th January 2012

Essential Maintenance Work

From 7.00am tomorrow, OverDrive, our download partners will be updating our Downloadable website to improve performance for members. The work will mean that members will be unable to access our Downloadable website from 7.00am tomorrow morning. The work will take between 30 minutes and 2 hours. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Interview with Rupert Muldoon30th November 2011

Member Interview

We were recently invited by member, Rupert Muldoon, to his brand new art exhibition. We took the opportunity to interview him about his experience of Listening Books. It was great to hear what he had to say about how the service has helped him. You can listen to the full interview here. If you would like to see Rupert's paintings, follow the link to his website.




Listening Books Christmas card8th November 2011

Listening Books Christmas cards for sale designed by Raymond Briggs

Our Christmas cards are now for sale and this year they are only £2.00 for a pack of 10. All profits come directly to Listening Books and will help us to continue to provide our service to as many people as possible. Please follow this link to download an order form. We would once again like to thank Raymond Briggs for his fantastic design and generosity.

25th October

Update needed for Apple iOS 5 users

For all our members who have updated or plan to update their Apple MP3 player to iOS 5, you will also need to update your OverDrive Media Console to continue to play our audiobooks. You can do this by following this link:

A Listening Books mini library21st September

Books for Hospices

We’re delighted to announce the official launch of our Books for Hospices project, supplying mini libraries of audiobooks to voluntary-run hospices. Through the generous donations of a number of charitable trusts and companies, the mini libraries are being delivered free of charge. The mini libraries consist of a huge range of fantastic audiobooks on MP3 CD by some of the biggest names in the publishing world, including Margaret Atwood, Bill Bryson, Dan Brown and Jacqueline Wilson. The project has proved a great success so far, with deliveries being made to 30 adult hospices in England. The service is now being extended to reach children’s hospices throughout the UK, ensuring the charity’s audiobooks bring comfort to as many adults and children as possible. Find out more by visiting

7th September

Planned website maintenance

Due to essential planned maintenance work this website will be unavailable between 6pm and 7pm this evening (07/09/2011). During this time our Downloadable website will continue to be available and you can access it here:

23rd August

Listening Books bids a fond farewell to long serving member of staff, Sarah Hucklesby.

Sarah worked for Listening Books for 8 years and left this month to pursue a new career in occupational therapy. We all wish her well and would like to welcome our new member of staff, Jennifer Ades, who joins us as our membership & recruitment administrator.

Cover image for The Hobbit15th August

Over 10,000 downloads since launch in 2010

Since its launch in May 2010, the Downloadable service has gone from strength to strength, with the number of audiobooks checked out by members surpassing the 10,000 mark.

Listening Books' top ten downloads chart demonstrates the fantastic mix of audiobooks available:

Listening Books' Top 10 Downloads August 2011:
1. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein
2. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
3. The Black Tower by PD James
4. The Birthday Present by Barbara Vine
5. Boy by Roald Dahl
6. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
7. Face by Benjamin Zephaniah
8. GCSE English 'Of Mice and Men' by CGP Publications
9. The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkein
10. Archangel by Robert Harris

Image of The Postmistress book cover15th July

Great new titles to stream and download!

Many of you will have received an email this week advertising a small selection of the great new titles available to stream and download. We are constantly updating our catalogues with the best new titles such as 'Boy A' by Jonathan Trigell and 'The Postmistress' by Sarah Blake. If you would like to receive these updates from us, please email and let us know.



Members listening together17th June 2011

Members' Forum questionnaire results

Thank you to all of the members who took part in the questionnaire on the quality of the service and member usage late last year. We had some fantastic responses to our new download collection and we are thrilled that our members are enjoying this service. To further raise awareness of this excellent service, we are adding adverts onto the end of our audiobooks sent out on CD. For those reluctant members who might benefit from extra help with downloading titles, we are creating still more comprehensive instructions and are also putting together a how-to-download video for our website.

When asked what would improve the Listening Books service, most members stated that they would like to see more titles in the library. We are pleased to announce that the number of titles we have in the library now exceeds 4,500 and this number is going up all the time. We continue to stock audiobooks to support the National Curriculum and do our best to secure any additional titles that are needed. Please get in touch if there is a title that we do not stock, whether for school or otherwise, though do bear in mind that we can only supply those books that the publishers grant us permission to lend and where we believe there would be reasonable demand.

A number of people suggested that we send out audio versions of our new booklists and we are pleased to say that we have already put this into practice.

The views of our members are invaluable and we are grateful for their feedback. The next questionnaire will be sent to a selection of forum members of differing ages, disabilities and geographical locations shortly and we look forward to bringing you the results in due course.

A group of people16th June 2011

Members' Forum changes

As many of you will know Listening Books runs a forum for members who wish to submit their views on various aspects of the service. To ensure that the forum is representative of our membership in terms of such things as age, disability and geographical location, we will only be sending our questionnaires to a selection of the members’ forum from now on. This selection will be rotated each time we send out a questionnaire to allow everyone to have an input. At the moment, we are actively seeking the following members to join the forum: individuals under the age of 25 with learning impairments (or their parents or guardians), individuals who solely use the internet streaming and download services, and organisations of any kind (including schools, nursing homes and colleges). Please telephone Fiona Hutcheson on 020 7407 9417 or email if any of these apply to you and you would like to join the forum.

Book cover of 'A Thousand Splendid Suns'6th April 2011

Friday favourites

Don't forget to join our Facebook group to keep up with our weekly staff recommendations. The current 'Friday favourite' is 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' by Khaled Hosseini. Click here to follow Listening Books on Facebook.


CD version of Connect24th March 2011

Look out for exciting new changes to our member newsletter

Our member newsletter, Connect, and our booklists of new titles are undergoing some exciting changes. We are pleased to announce that all future issues will be produced solely in an audio format. The next issue of Connect will contain interviews with bestselling authors, Margaret Atwood and Sarah Waters, as well as a number of new features. Please note that members who have previously asked for a printed version of the newsletter will now only receive the audio versions as these are accessible to everyone with a computer or MP3 CD player. We look forward to bringing you our latest news and titles in the spring.

Sarah Waters3rd March 2011

A celebration of books

Happy World Book Day everyone! Today marks a celebration of books and reading across the UK. This Saturday night World Book Night will take place for the first time. A staggering one million books will be given away by 20,000 passionate readers to other readers as well as people who may be reluctant to read or part of communities with less access to books. The books given away will be made up of 25 titles, carefully selected by an editorial committee. To see the full list of titles click here.

This week we were lucky enough to speak with bestselling author Sarah Waters whose novel, 'Fingersmith', has been chosen as one of the 25 titles. Click here to listen to what she has to say about World Book Night.

25th February 2011

Join Listening Books on Facebook

Keep up to date with Listening Books on Facebook. We will be sharing staff recommendations and charity news. Become a fan by liking the page and help spread the word!

Listening Books

23rd December 2010

Listening Books will be closed for the holiday period

The office will be closed from Christmas Eve and will re-open on the 4th January. We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our members a happy and peaceful break.

File:Aa snow 2010 01 05 00.jpg3rd December 2010

Postal disruption due to the weather

We'd like to apologise to any of our members who aren't receiving their audiobooks through the post. We rely on Royal Mail and their services to get the audiobooks to our members, and their deliveries have been disrupted due to the bad weather. Our online services are available 24 hours a day, so please call the library team on 0207 234 0522 for your username and password so you can continue to enjoy our audiobooks while the CDs are in transit.

Listening Books Christmas card17th November 2010

Listening Books Christmas cards for sale designed by Raymond Briggs

Our Christmas cards are now for sale and this year they are only £2.00 for a pack of 10. All profits come directly to Listening Books and will help us to continue to provide our service to as many people as possible. Please follow this link to download an order form. We would once again like to thank Raymond Briggs for his fantastic design and generosity.

Book cover for Jacqueline Wilson's 'Little Darlings'27th October 2010

Brand new titles for your library!

We have recently added hundreds of new titles which are available to download from our Downloadable website. Members can simply visit the website to download audiobooks to an iPod or other portable device. We are also constantly adding new streams; members can log into the members' area of this site to stream such new titles as Arthur Miller's classic play 'A View from the Bridge'. Don't forget to keep checking back as we update our catalogue on a regular basis.

Just Giving Logo




27th September 2010

Support Listening Books through Just Giving

Just Giving is a website where fundraisers organising or participating in events to raise money for a charity can set up their own fundraising page. We’ve received some great support over the last few months via Just Giving. Unicorn Tree Books kindly raised the fantastic sum of £480.63 by choosing us as their charity of the year. Upcoming events include Nick Bird running the Loch Ness Marathon in aid of Listening Books on 3rd October 2010 and David Lalor taking on the challenge of reading 52 books in one year! To find out more or to make a donation, please visit: for David and for Nick.

Alternatively, if you would like to donate direct to Listening Books, please visit

Listening Books simply could not continue to exist without the generous support of our sponsors, whether they be individuals, trusts or companies and we are grateful for all of the help we receive in allowing us to be a lifeline for the people who rely on our audiobooks.

If you are organising or participating in an event for charity and would like to raise money for Listening Books, you can set up your own page here

Do get in touch to let us know all about your event as we can provide you with case studies and photos for your page to help you raise money. We would also love to promote your event via our newsletter, website and Twitter page.

Brainwaves Logo12th August 2010

Brainwaves Education hosts open day

Brainwaves Education, a Suffolk based dyslexia and literacy support centre, will be hosting an open day on Friday 5th November to support Dyslexia Awareness Week 2010. They have invited us along to demonstrate our service and explain the benefits that listening to audio can bring. We'd love to see you there. Follow this link to find out more.


Streaming19th July 2010

Change of streaming provider

We will shortly be changing the company who provide us with streaming licences. This means that members will be prompted to re-enter their username and password so that a new licence can be downloaded to their computer. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact our dedicated streaming support:

10th May 2010

Listening Books launch Downloadable!

A member listening on an iPod

Today we are launching a brand new service available FREE to all Listening Books members. We now have hundreds of audiobooks that can be downloaded to iPods, MP3 players and other portable devices. Click here to browse our fantastic new titles.



7th April 2010

Titles available to stream reaches 1000

Members streamingWe are happy to announce that members can now choose from over 1000 titles to stream straight to their computer. Use your username and password to log into the members' area and search our fantastic range of children's and adults' audiobooks.

29th January 2010

National Storytelling Week

Members listeningMany of us will associate storytelling with childhood. As we grow older and learn to read for ourselves, the need to be told a story diminishes. However, there are a large number of adults and children for whom storytelling continues to be an active part of their everyday lives. This is because they struggle to read a book or to turn its pages due to an illness, disability or learning difficulty.

Many of our members tell us that they would be lost without the support of Listening Books. As one of our members, Polly Higgins, says:

“Being told stories is a very basic pleasure from childhood onward and I should encourage anyone who loves to listen - to be informed, amused, entertained, exalted and elevated by the spoken word - to join Listening Books!”

To celebrate National Storytelling Week, Listening Books will be offering 12 computer streaming licences for the price of 10 to anyone signing up for the service between Saturday 30th January and Saturday 6th February inclusive. That’s just £20 for access to over 900 audiobooks from 12 different PCs. To find out more about National Storytelling Week click here.

Archived news 2009

A member listening


Listening Books members can download thousands of fantastic titles to an iPod or other portable player!

A couple listening

MP3 CDs!

Members can choose from a huge selection of MP3 CDs which we send through the post.



Members can listen to thousands of audiobooks instantly on a huge range of devices and computers, including Macs.

General enquiries:020 7407 9417 /
Library enquiries: 020 7234 0522 /
Fax: 020 7403 1377
Registered charity number: 264221 Patron: Stephen Fry President: The Rt. Hon. Lady Warnock DBE
All images are © Listening Books unless otherwise stated.

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