Bridges Resource Library

Bookshare Reader

Updated as of January 18, 2024.

Reading Bookshare Books

Like other reading apps, Bookshare Reader allows the user the ability to change the speaking rate and to change the voice itself. In addition, a reader can navigate Bookshare books by using headings coded into the book. However, the coding is not perfect, so navigation can, sometimes, be more problematic.

Bookshare Reader is new and improving. It’s free, geared toward people with all print disabilities, and customizable by the consumer.

How Can I Use Bookshare Reader?

Bookshare Reader can be used in multiple ways.

On a laptop

Using your Windows OS, MacOS, or Chrome laptop, you can run it through an internet browser on Bookshare (by choosing “Read Now” when you select a book).

SmartPhone or tablet

You can use the same method to stream books on your phone, or you can download and use the iOS Bookshare Reader app or the Android Bookshare Reader app.

Smart speaker

There is also a Bookshare Reader Skill on Alexa-enabled smart devices and speakers, and you can search for and read Bookshare books using this skill. 

Why Should I Use Bookshare Reader?

Bookshare Reader has advantages that other options, including the commonly-used alternative, Voice Dream Reader, do not. For example, as long as one has a Bookshare account, Bookshare Reader is entirely free. Further, with Bookshare Reader, the text is presented in such a way as to be more readable by your device itself, or by Bookshare’s own voices.

Please note: when using Bookshare Reader on your iOS phone, make sure that VoiceOver is off while the reader is speaking, or else the voices will clash. However, this makes it easier to read out loud by going line-by-line. In the end, Bookshare Reader provides an additional option to use, and individuals can choose which app to use and when to use it to meet their individual needs and comfort levels.

Try It and Help Make It Better

Most new software has hiccups, and that’s to be expected. Bookshare welcomes feedback so that it may improve its software and content. If you notice something that could be better, please reach out to us at the Free Bridges Helpdesk [via webform, email, or phone at (410) 357-1546] or email Bookshare directly:

We never know how much better things can get unless we try.

Contact the Bridges Helpdesk for More Information

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

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