Starting today, 10th June, Love Audio week will bring together publishers, bloggers, and authors across the UK to raise the profile of audiobooks. National charity Listening Books, who provide an audiobook library for anyone who finds reading or holding a book is impacted by a disability or chronic illness, will be celebrating the importance of audiobooks as an accessible way for everyone to enjoy reading.
Katie said, “As a child who struggled to fall asleep, I learnt the value of audiobooks at a young age. I’m so grateful I had this early exposure to audiobooks, as when my health deteriorated and made reading difficult I knew there was another option. I still resisted the need to transition away from print, and initially grieved for physical books and the tangible way they connected me to a story.
“When digital and postal library services, such as Listening Books, began to make audiobooks increasingly accessible without leaving home, I finally took the plunge. It was like the first rainfall after a long drought, and I felt the stories soaking into my bones and refreshing my spirit. As I listen, I can lose myself in stories and briefly escape the pain, fatigue, and anxiety. Audiobooks accompany me through sleepless nights, hospital stays, and weeks trapped in bed, but they are also the old friends I turn to on rest days, and the new crush I can’t wait to snuggle up with after a busy day. Whatever life throws at me, I have a library of characters waiting to join the adventure.”
Even after discovering the benefits of audiobooks, Katie began to notice that traditional book clubs often excluded listeners, and considered audiobooks cheating. “This encouraged me to start an audiobook discussion group on Facebook called Chronic Creatives Hearing Things,” she said. “It inspired me to begin reviewing things on my blog, Miss Lawrence is Hearing Things, to help others find stories they would love.”
Louise Barling, Library and PR Manager at Listening Books, said, “I am absolutely delighted that Katie has found such joy in audiobooks. Our mission at Listening Books is to ensure that as many people as possible who find reading or holding a book is impacted by a disability can continue to access stories so we hope that Love Audio week will spread the word about the power of audiobooks!”
Visit Katie Lawrence’s audiobook review blog, Miss Lawrence is Hearing Things: www.hearingthings.co.uk
For more information about Love Audio week, see attached PDF or www.loveaudio.org.uk
Listening Books is a UK national charity providing thousands of audiobooks for anyone who finds that reading or holding a book is impacted by an illness, disability, learning difficulty, or mental health issue, via an online and postal library service. Founded in 1949, we have championed audiobook technology, leading the voluntary sector in negotiating formal contracts with commercial publishers to provide titles to people with print impairments. We now have over 50,000 members, and are continuing to grow.
Find out more: www.listening-books.org.uk