Penguin Random House UK has donated all of its audiobooks to the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s (RNIB) talking books library, reports The Bookseller.
The collection currently includes around 6,000 titles and will be gradually added to RNIB’s talking book platform in instalments on an ongoing basis. Among the books to be uploaded are novels from some of the world’s bestselling authors, such as James Patterson, Lee Child and Sophie Kinsella.
Anna Tylor, chair of RNIB, said: “I am thrilled that Penguin Random House is boosting RNIB’s library collection. Talking books are essential for thousands of blind and partially sighted people across the country who, like me, enjoy getting stuck into a good story.
“In the last year alone, we have provided 1.33 million talking books to blind and partially sighted people, so it’s fantastic that such a prestigious publishing house has gifted us its entire cache of audiobooks to grow our collection.”
Richard Lennon, publisher at PRH Audio, said: “At Penguin we are determined to make sure that everyone has access to books and that the joy of reading is truly accessible to all. We’re excited to be able to connect our books and authors with new audiences through the RNIB’s brilliant talking books service.”
RNIB produced the first audiobook (or “talking book”) in 1935. Since then, the charity has provided talking books in various formats to blind and partially sighted people across the UK for free, recording them in its own studios in Camden, London. Last year, RNIB launched a new online library offering people with sight loss instant access to thousands of free books in formats they can read, including audio. The library now has 33,000 talking books in its collection.