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Calibre Services

Couple with telephone


Calibre Services

Calibre Member

If your sight is poor - or if you have another disability that prevents you reading print - you can still enjoy all the pleasure a good book brings.

Our library has the largest lending collection of audio books in the UK in open format - that's to say, you don't need special playback equipment.

That means there is something for all tastes and you can listen anywhere, at home or on the move.

What we offer

Our postal library service includes:

  • a choice of 8,500 audio books for all tastes - fiction and non-fiction - chosen specially to appeal to members
  • over 1,800 books for children and young people - read more about Young Calibre here
  • books read cover to cover by professional actors and broadcasters
  • most books in digital format on MP3 CD or USB memory stick
  • free postage and no fines for late or lost books
  • flexible lending to suit your needs
  • the option to choose your books online
  • a friendly, personal, quick service.
     

There is a single administration fee of £35 (£20 for Young Calibre) to join the library. Thereafter, we do not charge any subscription and there are no fines for lost, late or damaged books- anything you contribute is a purely voluntary donation. We make a small charge for our print catalogues but the online catalogue is free.

Listen to three short extracts from our books - they'll give you an idea of what to expect.

 

 

 

 

"Being read to is one of life's keenest pleasures, especially when the reader has an attractive voice and a real understanding of, and sympathy with, the story. I am delighted that many thousands of book lovers, including enthusiasts for detective stories, enjoy this unique experience brought to them by Calibre audio books. The human voice has an intimacy which makes listening a very personal pleasure and which brings the story alive in a unique way."  P D James, 2011

Who can join?

Female Calibre MemberYou can become a member if you:

  • can't see well enough to read ordinary books (you do not need to be registered blind or partially sighted) and live in the UK or other EU County
     
  • have dyslexia or another disability that makes it difficult to use books and live in the UK
     

Click here to find out how to join.

How the service works

When you become a member we ask you to tell us what kind of books you like to read (such as detective novels, biography and so on) and whether you want books on digital MP3 disks, USB memory sticks or a combination of these media. (Click here to read more about our digital service. ) Then we do the rest, making sure you are never without a book to read. We also send out regular audio newsletters.

Children and young people 16 and under can select books by educational key stages. They can also borrow books from the main library if they wish, other than x-rated ones (which are not suitable for junior members).

Young Calibre Member, Rory

Read more about how to choose your books - you can set up a personal reading list using this website or our catalogues.

Calibre books are sent to members and returned free of charge. Calibre bears the postage costs for everyone, even those who are not visually impaired and do not qualify for Articles for the Blind Scheme.

If you would like to know more about how we choose and record the books, and get them to members, click here for a tour 'behind the scenes'.

What members say

Our service is described as 'truly life-enhancing' by many of our members. Here are more comments from some of our 20,000 members or you can check out what they say on our Facebook page and on Twitter:

"The readers really bring the books to life."

"Your talking book library has opened another world for me."

"I listen when I'm ironing or in the garden."

"My mother is 90 years old, registered blind and your audio books have been a godsend for her."

"I can listen to a story whenever I want." (Joshua, aged 9)

"The service is so easy to use."

"Your audio library has given my visually impaired son many hours of enjoyment."

"No sooner do I post a book back than another two arrive."

"The new MP3 disks are so convenient and the sound quality is brilliant."

"I cannot visualize life without my Calibre books. They replace not only ordinary books but newspapers, magazines, television, knitting, sewing, even many of my activities outside the house. I cannot thank you enough."

How to join

Click here to find out how to join. If you want to know more before making up your mind, look at our frequently asked questions or give us a ring on 01296 432 339.