Free hard-copy braille books
Individuals may choose from many Braille books in either contracted or uncontracted Braille. The volunteers of Temple Beth El Sisterhood provide these books at no cost, but they welcome donations of Braille paper, Braille binding supplies, and money to support this mission.
Through this program, blind/low vision U.S. children ages birth through 21 may order up to FIVE (5) free braille books per year.
Blind/low vision children in the U.S. and Canada may order up to 2 Dots for Tots® kits two times per year (targeted at ages 2-5, but open to all—might be great books to read to younger family members, neighbors, etc.).
Books available for download in BRF (Braille Ready Format).
Hard copy braille books. 2023 books include:
- March: Her Epic Adventure: 25 Women Who Inspire a Life Less Ordinary By Julia De Laurentis Johnston
- April: Clubhouse Mysteries #3: Shadows of Caesar’s Creek By Sharon M. Draper
- May: Clubhouse Mysteries #4: The Space Mission Adventure By Sharon M. Draper
- June: My Name is Maria Isabel By Alma Flor Ada
- July: Clubhouse Mysteries #5: The Backyard Animal Show By Sharon M. Draper
- August: Clubhouse Mysteries #6: Stars and Sparks On Stage By Sharon M. Draper
- September: Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics By Margarita Engle
- October: The Used-To-Be Best Friend (Jo Jo Makoons #1) By Dawn Quigley
- November: Fancy Pants (Jo Jo Makoons #2) By Dawn Quigley
- December: We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices By Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson
The Xavier Society for the Blind offers hundreds of texts on religious topics (Catholics) at no charge to patrons. You may become a patron by calling (212) 473-7800 to register for their services. The website notes: “All of our materials are provided at no cost, and there is no fee to sign up. We look forward to hearing from you!”
Low-cost braille books
Very reasonably priced, high-quality Braille-print picture books. Great for learning braille as a teen with books you grew up loving and for braille readers taking care of younger children.
Seedlings has a wide variety of braille books for purchase (after you get your three free Angel books—see above). Here are the categories of Seedlings books:
- Print-Braille-and-Picture Books in Uncontracted Braille, in UEB
- Print-Braille-and-Picture Books in Contracted Braille, in UEB
- Print-and-Braille Books in Uncontracted Braille, in UEB
- Print-and-Braille Books in Contracted Braille, in UEB
- Contracted Braille in UEB
- Shorter Fiction in Contracted Braille, in EBAE
- Longer Fiction in Contracted Braille, in EBAE
- Poetry in Contracted Braille, in EBAE
- Nonfiction & Biographies in Contracted Braille, in EBAE
NBP has a variety of titles including some not available anywhere else, including technology guides for blind/low vision individuals, cookbooks, recreational reading, books in Spanish and English, and more.
Additionally, NBP’s Children’s Braille Book Club offers a great way to build a Braille book library. For an annual subscription of $120, NBP will send one print/Braille book per month. When my child began elementary school, I convinced the school library to get a subscription. It was a great opportunity to get new books into the library, and the print readers loved those books too (great way to normalize and socialize braille use)!
Read How You Want is a commercial publisher of accessible books, and available formats include Braille and DAISY digital books. While this publisher is located in Australia, prices are in U.S. dollars, and the variety of titles includes many that are not common in the U.S.
Other sources for braille books
While APH books are not necessarily low in price, schools have funds that can only be spent at APH. In addition to textbooks and early learning books, APH offers books with tactile graphics that can be helpful in science and other classes.
The Braille Bookstore offers many titles in hard copy braille for all ages, including adults.
This group offers braille in three ways:
- Lending library with more than 2,000 titles for children and adults. “There is no charge for borrowing our books; just tell us your name and contact information and we’ll get you started.”
- Purchasing library books.
- Transcribing books upon request (fee for this service).
- Adult Fiction
- Adult Non-Fiction
“The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) maintains and promotes the Louis Database of Accessible Materials, named in honor of Louis Braille. Louis contains information on accessible materials produced by over 75 organizations throughout the United States and Canada. These materials include educational materials in braille, large print, audio, and electronic file format.
Our aim is to provide maximum visibility to accessible educational materials and to meet that goal, the Louis search also includes information from these national repositories.”
While Bookshare does not provide hard copy books, it does provide the option to download books in BRF (braille-ready file) format. Note: you must be a member of Bookshare to download these files. Then, you may either emboss the books yourself or find another entity (teacher, agency, individual) to perform the embossing.