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 three (3) 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).
The Braille Institute also offers a lending library and offers books in hard copy braille and in digital format. There is no charge for eligible individuals, and books are shipped via Free Matter postage.
An online resource provided by the American Action Fund (AAF) to connect with others who have Braille books to give away. Search the site which has thousands of books listed, and request a book. The current owner will then send it to you via “Free Matter” through the U.S. Post Office.
Hard copy braille books. 2022 series include:
- The Potts-Abilities Series, Morris Flip Sound Machine, by Liz Cooper
- I Survived Series, by Lauren Tarshis – 6 titles from her 21 title series
- History Smashers, by Kate Messner – 5 titles from her 7 title series
Stories by and about blind individuals, edited and distributed by the National Federation of the Blind. Available for digital access as HTML files.
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 $100, 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 bet new books into the library, and the print readers loved those books too!
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