Accessible Reading Options During COVID-19

A book with pages folded into a heart.

Staying home has many of us searching for a good book to read. Below is a list of reading resources, compiled by staff at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services – Office for the Blind and Visually Impaired (OBVI):

Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL) ( – cartridges, BARD

A Vision Rehabilitation Specialist or other individual could download books from Talking Books onto a flash drive that the reader can use with the Talking Books player. There is a port for a flash drive on the side near the volume up/down buttons. It may be covered with a plastic cover that needs to be taken off to reveal a USB port.

The Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL) will resume services in a limited capacity on Monday, May 11th, 2020. Books will be mailed out as early as Tuesday, May 12th. WTBBL reference services will be available beginning Monday, May 18th, and calls will be answered between the hours of 1 – 4:50 p.m. (You may call and leave a brief message before 1:00 p.m.) Please be aware that you may experience a longer wait time when you call as we expect higher call volumes. You may continue sending emails to Normal reference hours of 9 a.m. – 4:50 p.m., will resume by Monday, May 25th. WTBBL encourages you to begin returning your books. We will override overdue policies for the time WTBBL was closed. As we resume mailing materials, please bear in mind that the USPS delivery service has been affected by the pandemic, so book delivery might take longer than usual.

Local Libraries

Your local library may be closed, but you can still access books through online and apps – Libby, Overdrive, RB Digital, YourCloudLibrary, and HooplaDigital. The apps may require you to log into your library account using your library card number.

The plan for reopening Wisconsin Public Libraries varies depending on library branch location. Contact your local public library system for more information about the reopening plan in your area.

Amazon Alexa and Google Home

Both home devices read books aloud.

Choice Magazine

Sign up over internet, and they send you digital magazines.

NFB Newsline (

A selection of free newspapers, TV listings, magazines; Newsline is accessed through a phone, iOS mobile app, Amazon Alexa, Victor Reader Stream, and computer

Victor Reader Stream (

Radio reading services (listing at It can read content in DAISY format and provide access to other media.

Bookshare (

There is a $50 annual fee or free if user is a student.

Epub books (

Project Gutenberg (

Listen to books on their website, iTunes, or download books onto a device.

LibriVox ( – online; can listen to books on their website, iTunes, or download onto a device

Spotify Audiobooks (

NewFixtion ( – original stories delivered in daily episodes, like old-time radio drama; must listen on desktop or mobile browser

DigitalBook ( – free membership; over 100,000 books to choose from; many books are free, but some are not

Internet Archive ( – non-profit archive of internet sites and cultural artifacts; has 11 million books and texts; also has millions of audio recordings and videos

LearnOutLoud ( – offers free books, speeches, courses, documentaries, lectures, and interviews

Amazon Prime – Audible Channels

Free Trials of audio books – Audible (30 day free trial, then $14.95 per month); BookBeat (2 week free trial, then $17.00 per month); Kobo (30 day free trial, then $12.99 per month)

Create your own book or journal with a digital recorder or recorder app.

Chapter a Day ( – really low tech; turn on your radio at 12:30 pm or 11 pm and listen to a chapter read each day for half an hour; currently reading Thoreau’s Walden; can also listen online

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