How do I get an audio version of a book?

All of Bookshare's books have audio capability. How you access these audio features depends on the type of reading experience you prefer and the type of device you want to use to listen to your books. Note that Bookshare does not offer human narrated audio, so all of our audio options will have an electronic voice.

Web Reader (Read Now) Audio

Our Web Reader allows you to read books online in your web browser. This option can also have audio output, but there are some limitations. If you do not already use a screen reading program like JAWS or Voice Over, you will need to use a computer and open the Google Chrome web browser or Safari (Mac only) to listen to books. You’ll need Chrome version 33 or higher or Safari version 6.1 or higher. If you open books using the Read Now link, and you are not using Google Chrome or Safari on a computer, you will not hear any audio when you press the Play button.

Please Note

* Web Reader audio is only available on a computer. If you use the Read Now link on an iPad or other mobile device, you will not have the audio option. For other ways to obtain audio on a tablet or smart phone visit our Reading Tools Wizard.

* If you are on a computer running a compatible version of Chrome or Safari, and you still do not have audio, please visit our Web Reader Audio troubleshooting page.

* If you use a screen reader like JAWS or Voiceover to access your computer or tablet, you may press the Read Now link and use your screen reader's standard audio reading to read in any web browser like Internet Explorer or Firefox.


DAISY is a file format that performs similar to the Read Now option while allowing members to permanently save book files to their computers or devices.  It has options for both visible text and audio, however you will need a DAISY reader to read a DAISY book and each reader may provide a slightly different experience. Both DAISY text and DAISY with Images files have audio reading options that change depending upon which DAISY reading program you use, however not all tools will have options to display the images. Bookshare is compatible with many DAISY reading tools, visit the Bookshare Reading Tools pages to find options that best fit your needs.  

MP3 Audio

All Bookshare books are also available in the MP3 file format. Please note that mp3 files are audio only so you will not be able to view any book text or hear how individual words are spelled. MP3s can be listened to using standard MP3 playing software like iTunes or Windows Media Player, or can be transferred onto any MP3 playing device.  For more information on selecting the MP3 format see our article How do I change my audio download preferences to MP3 or DAISY Audio?