About Us

Scroll Reader was started in July of 2023.

What exactly is Scroll Reader? It’s a free Christian audiobook platform—no ads, no fees attached. We desire the truth to be freely accessible and believers to be edified and grow in the knowledge of God.

What types of books? We have a strong emphasis in focusing on missionary biographies. Why? Throughout history the biographies of missionaries have been a great factor in stirring up others for the cause of taking Christ to the nations. For example, A.E. Glover got a hold of Hudson Taylor’s biography, Volume 1, and it was a massive catalyst in him going to China (by the way, both Hudson Taylor’s biography and A.E. Glovers are both on our site to listen to). So we hope that our audiobooks will have a similar effect, motivating and encouraging individuals to pursue missionary work. The Lord Jesus has told us to pray to Him to send laborers in His harvest–our desire is to help see that prayer answered through putting mission related resources right before people with ease of access. 

With that said, we also prioritize other books that we’ve come across, particularly those in the public domain, which resonate deeply with our own souls.

What is behind the name “Scroll Reader”? In Nehemiah, a scroll is discovered and read aloud. This is somewhat the same setting as an audiobook, you have a scroll and you have a reader reading that scroll aloud. This led us to the name “Scroll Reader,” evoking the image of books, specifically scrolls, being read aloud. In Nehemiah the people stood all day to listen and were uplifted, our aspiration is that these audiobooks will revive and edify the soul and be available “all day”.

With that said, it’s essential to recognize that none of these books can replace the Bible, which stands as God’s singular book to mankind. However, throughout the Scriptures, we find calls to imitate the examples of other godly believers. Biographies offer a tangible means to discover both qualities to emulate and pitfalls to avoid.

Who are the scroll readers? The primary way in which we’ve been able to produce the amount of audiobooks we have is through new Speech Synthesis technology. Whereby you are able to record someone’s voice, and then run the text through with their voice and get an almost like life, emotions and so on. This has allowed us to achieve a high quality on the audiobooks and yet keep the cost at almost nothing. 

With that said, we also have books on the site read by actual people and narrators, or sections of books where someone does the voice for one character.

What about the impact on believers who narrate audiobooks? Before the advent of the printing press in the mid-15th century, producing books and documents was a painstaking manual process. Skilled copyists, also known as scribes, were responsible for this task.

So, what changed with the invention of the printing press? It revolutionized book production, allowing texts to be produced much faster and in larger quantities. This advancement significantly reduced the demand for hand-copied manuscripts.

Now, consider the parallel with AI voices. We celebrated the printing press for its ability to produce books quickly and affordably, sparing us from the laborious process of hand-copying. However, despite the rise of printed materials, there remained niche demand for handcrafted manuscripts in certain contexts. Similarly, while speech synthesis and AI for audiobooks enable mass production, there’s still a place, and likely always will be, for human voice narrators, just as there was for copyists then and now.

Moreover, just as copyists adapted their skills to the emerging printing industry, voice narrators can utilize AI to enhance their craft. They can use AI to act out roles or to transform recordings into different voices. Additionally, the transition to printed materials didn’t immediately eliminate the need for copyists, and similarly, the shift to AI voices will take time to permeate throughout society–and the truth is will not a human’s voice always be better than any sort of speech-synthesis?

So, if someone has made a living as a voice narrator of Christian resources, I understand the concern. However, our goal remains advancing the Gospel. If AI can assist in coding a website or turning a book into an audiobook, we should utilize those tools, just as we embraced the printing press over hand-copying. We don’t not use the printing press because  we are afraid some believers might lose their job as a copyist, do we? Does not that believer who works as a copyists want the Gospel going forth? Ultimately, God will provide for those whose livelihoods may be impacted by technological advancements. Whether a voice narrator or a programmer, both of whom have their fields being infringed upon in a dramatic way right now!

What is our process? Our process typically involves several steps. Firstly, we select a public domain book from archive.org. Then, someone formats the text, and we may revise it as needed. Next, we choose voices for narration, render the audiobook, and provide it through our editing app for listeners to mark any errors they encounter. After a final edit, we upload the finished product. This entire process is coordinated by a team of four individuals working together to ensure a high-quality production.

We ask for your prayers for this project, that the Lord would use it to further His truth. If you feel led, you can also get involved. Do you happen to know of any solid books printed before 1928 that could be turned into an audiobook? You could spearhead this effort without requiring significant overhead.

Lastly, let’s consider the potential beyond English audiobooks. With our technique, we can also produce audiobooks in multiple other languages. However, it remains true that English-speaking resources are often more abundant compared to other languages. We pray that God will raise up more translators to help fill this gap and make valuable resources accessible to people in various languages.