CEO Trip Adler celebrates 15 years of Scribd by fighting book bans

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Trip Adler, CEO of Scribd, an e-book and audiobook subscription service that includes over a million titles, is on a mission to change the way the world reads. Its platform provides access to a huge digital library offering a very diverse range of voices across many mediums.

Starting the company after college, Adler now has over 350 employees, over 244 million unique visitors and approximately 1.8 million paying subscribers as of December 31, 2021. He proudly celebrates 15 years of developing the largest digital library of eBooks, audiobooks, magazine articles, documents, podcasts and original content.

Adler believes reading is one of the most powerful tools for connecting people. He believes that words matter because they hold the power to inspire, influence and change the world. As you can imagine, running the Scribd platform, Adler is a strong advocate for the freedom to explore our intellect through words, speaking, writing, and reading.

Recently, there has been an alarming increase in the number of banned books in schools and public libraries. These bans, according to Adler, have a disproportionate impact on topics around diverse perspectives. This creepy move has impacted the works of several Scribd Original authors, including Kiese Laymon, Carmen Maria Machado, and Margaret Atwood.

Adler is ardently opposed to banning the books. To retaliate, the company allowed free access to the site so people could read and learn about banned books. The Scribd editorial team has set up a current books list banned at this time and will come up with a list frequently banned books.

Here are some examples of banned and disputed classics

  • The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • Catcher in the Heart, by JD Salinger.
  • The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.
  • The Color Violet, by Alice Walker.
  • Ulysses, by James Joyce.
  • Beloved, by Toni Morrison.
  • The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding.

In this initiative, Adler has been involved with a banned bookmobile to highlight this disturbing trend. Scribd has teamed up with Ryan Holiday, owner of The Painted Porch Bookshop, New York Times bestselling author, and host of the Daily Stoic podcast, to bring his new “Banned Bookmobile” to Texas and place free physical copies of banned books between hands of readers.

An independent bookstore in Bastrop distributed banned books to bookmobile readers in response to Texas school districts ban specific books from the classrooms. Adler said of the situation, “Scribd was created to change the way the world reads, but recently the freedom to read various subjects has come under attack with an alarming increase in books banned from schools and public libraries.” , and “That’s why we’ve teamed up with independent bookstore owner Ryan Holiday to fight the book ban by giving away printed books outside his store.”

“America has a lot of problems, but people who read books are not part of it. I am appalled by this campaign to ban or remove books from school libraries and as a bookseller, it is my duty to do something about it,” Holiday said. “I’m so thrilled that Scribd has helped make these books accessible not just here in Bastrop, TX, but across the country.”

Trip has a number of exciting initiatives planned for the next fifteen years. Although Scribd has 1.8 million subscribers, it sees the base growing exponentially, especially as it focuses on international. The company hired new members of the C-suite to manage the expected growth and promoted Patsy Mangan to director of human resources.

There will also be more original content and leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to help readers find interesting, compelling, and engaging books, articles, and podcasts. Scribd Originals are unique works by accomplished authors and living storytellers that are available exclusively on Scribd. Published in written and audio format, Scribd Originals covers a range of genres. Scribd Originals authors include Hilton Als, Roxane Gay, Garrett Graff, Peter Heller, Mark Seal, Paul Theroux and others.

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