Devices Offering Great Solutions (DOGS)

Talking Books and E-readers


Listen to books out loud.


About Talking Books and E-readers 


Recorded audio books have been available for decades. Devices changed over time to play from recordings produced on albums, tapes, compact disks (CD) and digital formats.

What kinds of talking book readers are there?

Desktop Book Players

The United States has a free talking book program for people with disabilities. The National Library Service provides members with a desktop book player with large tactile buttons and spoken directions. Books provided by this service come to your home on a cartridge that is inserted into a slot for playback.

Portable Talking Book Players

Portable talking book players are small devices about the size of a TV remote control. One example is the Victor Stream from Humanware. Transfer your audio books to the player by connecting to the internet or connecting to a computer. You can borrow digital books from the library or from paid services such as

Other E-Readers

Devices like the Kindle can display books in various font sizes, background colors and can be read aloud by a computer-generated speech if the author has given permission.

Related Apps


Listen to audio books on your smartphone with apps like:

  • Libby (free ebooks from your local library)
  • Bookshare (free if you are a student)
  • Subscription services like Audible or Scribd

How can I find out what’s new?

Technology changes all the time. To find out about the latest options for these, you can type keywords into a search engine such as Google, Safari, Firefox, or Bing on a computer or tablet. These are the keywords for this type of item:


narrated book, talking book players


How do I find out more?

If you live in the US outside of Pennsylvania, you can find your state’s AT program.

If you live in Pennsylvania:

  • you could contact TechOWL to work with a specialist. We can meet with you and sometimes demonstrate this equipment. We can also help with different ways to get one for your own.
  • you might borrow this equipment to try out.

Are these in Pennsylvania’s AT Lending Library?