A group of visually-impaired book lovers from Gaywood gathered on World Book Day to discuss ‘The Button Box’ by Lynn Knight – an acclaimed story of women in the 20th
century told through the clothes they wore – one of seven monthly audio book clubs run by sight loss charity Vision Norfolk around the county.
The Gaywood club has been running for 13 years, and has recently started meeting person again at the town’s library, following a long period meeting virtually during the Covid pandemic.
The audio book clubs aim to enable people with a range of visually impairments to continue to enjoy literature, as well as the pleasure of getting together with fellow book lovers to discuss their passion.
Helped by funding from the Norfolk County Library and Information Service, members receive their monthly book on a USB stick or MP3 CD.
“Many people who start to lose their sight say that losing the ability to enjoy reading is one of the things they fear,” said Mark Smith, leisure activities co-ordinator at Vision Norfolk. “In addition, isolation can be a real problem for the visually-impaired, and the monthly audio book clubs give people a chance to socialise as well as indulge their love of reading.
“Many members of the clubs comment that the meetings help them avoid social isolation, and help them feel more connected and less lonely.”
One member of the Gaywood club meeting on World Book Day said, “Not only is it a forum for discussing audio books, but we can talk about our sight issues, and there is a bit of friendly banter and laughter in the group.
“I feel the group helps to keep me in the loop and gives me an opportunity to meet up with friends. It also helps me to feel the love and enjoyment of books.”
Vision Norfolk runs monthly audio book clubs in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Fakenham, Cromer, Dereham, Diss and Gaywood. New members are always welcome; for more details visit https://www.visionnorfolk.org.uk/supporting-you/activities/audio-book-clubs