CEO Trip Adler Celebrates 15-Years Of Scribd By Fighting Back Against Banning Books

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

Starting the business after college, Adler now has more than 350 employees, over 244 million unique visitors and around 1.8 million-plus paying subscribers as of December 31, 2021. He is proudly celebrating 15 years of developing the largest digital library of eBooks, audiobooks , magazine articles, documents, podcasts and original content.

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

Recently, there’s been an alarming increase in books being banned in schools and public libraries. These bans, according to Adler, are disproportionately impacting topics around diverse perspectives. This frightening movement impacted the works of several Scribd Original authors including Kiese Laymon, Carmen Maria Machado, and Margaret Atwood.

Adler is ardently opposed to banning books. To fight back, the company allowed free access to the site so people could read and learn about the banned books. Scribd’s editorial team put together a list of books being banned right now and will offer a list of frequently banned books.

Here are some examples of banned and challenged classics

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

In this initiative, Adler was involved with a banned Bookmobile to highlight this disturbing trend. Scribd partnered with Ryan Holiday, owner of The Painted Porch Bookshop, New York Times bestselling author, and host of the Daily Stoic podcast, to bring its new “Banned Bookmobile” to Texas and place physical copies of banned books into readers’ hands for free .

An independent bookshop in Bastrop handed out banned books to readers from a Bookmobile in response to Texas school districts banning specific books from the classrooms. Adler said about the situation, “Scribd was created to change the way the world reads, but recently the freedom to read diverse topics has come under attack with an alarming uptick in books being banned in school and public libraries,” and “That’s why we partnered with Ryan Holiday, who owns an independent bookstore, to stand up against book banning by distributing print books outside his store.”

“America has a lot of problems but people reading books is not one of them. I’m appalled by this campaign to ban or remove books from school libraries and as a bookseller, it’s my obligation to do something about it,” said Holiday. “I’m really excited that Scribd has helped make these books accessible not just here in Bastrop, Texas but across the country.”

Trip has a number of exciting initiatives lined up for the next fifteen years. Although Scribd has 1.8 million subscribers he sees the base exponentially growing, especially as it’s focusing internationally. The company has hired new C-suite additions to manage the anticipated growth, and promoted Patsy Mangan to Chief People Officer.

There will also be more original content and leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to help readers find interesting, compelling and engaging books, articles, podcasts. Scribd Originals are unique works made by accomplished authors and vivid storytellers that are available exclusively on Scribd. Published in written and audio format, Scribd Originals span 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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