One of the ways I’m self-managing my mental health during the Covid-19 lockdown is by listening to audiobooks in my personal time. I find them a great stress buster because I love stories, and listening to them takes me to a different place in my mind.
I take in the content of a book much better – and faster – by listening to it than by reading it. I’ve been listening to audiobooks for about 7 years now and they have really opened up the world of literature to me.
But I am particularly benefiting from audiobooks during lockdown because they give me the change of environment that I crave, even though that change is mental rather than physical.
My local authority library service offers electronic audiobooks on 4 different digital platforms. I enjoy using them. But I find the stock a bit limited. And often the books I want to listen to are not available because another library user is borrowing them at the time.
So I have recently started using RNIB’s ‘Reading Services’ (previously called ‘Talking Books’) too. It is the biggest audiobook library in the UK and it is digitised. Until a few years ago, it was exclusively for people with sight loss or people who are registered blind. But now it is open to anyone of any age with a print disability, including dyslexic people.
It’s free to register for and use. You don’t need any special technology – just a device that is connected to the internet, and a device that lets you listen to audio files. For example, you could download onto a computer then drag and drop the book across to an MP3 player for connecting to headphones or speakers. Or you could use a mobile phone to download and listen.
RNIB Reading Services have many more electronic audiobooks than my local library. There is no loan period – you simply download the book(s) you wish to listen to and keep them for as long as you like. This has meant that I’ve been able to access books without delay.
So far, I have found the quality of audio recording excellent. I’ve also found the service good for browsing, and Scottish Literature. And at the end of each recording, they suggest other books and authors you might enjoy if you have enjoyed the book you’ve just listened to.
I am very grateful that I am able to access this service, and that it is free.
You can register and use the service at https://readingservices.rnib.org.uk .
The Scottish Government have launched a mental health programme this week. It’s to help us look after our mental health and get through these uncertain times. It’s called ‘Clear Your Head‘. This video tells you about it.
Blog written by an anonymous Dyslexia Scotland member.