Did you receive the book you really wanted for Christmas? The latest crime-thriller, some festive recipes, the biography of a favourite celeb?
If so, spare a thought for those for adults or children who are blind or partially sighted, for whom only a minority of books published in the UK are available in formats that are accessible to them.
Sight loss charity RNIB is working hard to fill the gap. Its 'talking books' audio-library, free to members, is the largest in Europe, boasting over 25,000 titles.
Talking Books help create a lifeline to the outside world for blind and partially sighted people. There are 6,034 Talking Books customers and over 106,000 people living with sight loss in Wales.
RNIB Transcription Centre Manager Emma Jones said: “For many children and adults with sight loss, accessing books isn’t that easy. At RNIB we feel passionately that reading can change the lives of blind and partially sighted people.
“RNIB can attract high profile names to work in our professional studios as narrators and we are proud to produce content of the highest standard. We love enriching the lives of people with sight loss with our recordings.”
But it costs £2,500 to record each new title with a professional narrator, and £1,500 or a children's book. RNIB relies on individuals and groups of friends, family and work-colleagues who take part in sponsored walks, bake-sales and other fun events to raise money for this.”
Carol McKinlay, Area Fundraising Manager for the RNIB said: "We know our Talking Books change the lives of blind and partially sighterd people, but we need support to expand our library and ensure that even more people who have lost their sight can enjoy reading.
"We’re hoping that people and businesses will feel encouraged to sponsor a Talking Book and help us to change the story.”
RNIB Cymru is calling on individuals, community groups and organisations to sponsor a Talking Book by creating a page on the JustGiving website with a target of £2,500 for an adult book or £1,500 for a children’s book.
RNIB Cymru produces annually at least 25 Talking Books in Welsh from their Cardiff studios, and the RNIB Library offers a variety of factual and fiction books for adulks and children in braille and large print.
To find out more about the RNIB Library or to register to receive Talking Books contact the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999, or go to www.rnib.org.uk.
To sponsor a Talking Book, or learn more, go to www.rnib.org.uk/sponsortalkingbooks