Reading aloud programs for chapter books can be found by searching the Internet. Sightly impaired people or those who like audio books now have the means to hear books read aloud at their convenience, with a number of devices currently on the market. Some educational programs use read-aloud devices to help increase reading comprehension in youth. The first choice to make is whether the user wishes to sit at the computer or carry a device with them.
Software programs exist to make less popular and out of print books into electronic sound files that can be downloaded to audible devices such as mp3 players or played on the PC or Mac. A book sized scanner is required to transfer conventional written pages into electronic files for this type of program. Hand scanners are available to scan line by line to an electronic file for reading aloud. Reading aloud programs are much easier to use with electronic files that are in common formats such as Microsoft Word or Adobe pdf.
There are free text to speech programs available from corporate sources on the web. The free version is very basic, but more elaborate versions with choice of voice and other features are available for a reasonable cost. Reading in other languages can be assisted by software with translation capability.
Kindle e-book manufacturers are experimenting with voice software that can make any available electronic book, magazine or newspaper audible through built in speakers or headphones. Other e-book devices will surely follow with similar features. Features also include chapter and page bookmarks.
Sighted persons may wish to use these devices while commuting. Those persons experiencing sight impairment will find these devices indispensable for recreational and required reading. There are now hundreds of thousands of electronic books available for sale or available to be loaned out at public libraries.
Pen size scanners with text-to-sound capabilities read the text of a chapter book to the listener during scanning. These devices skip the intermediate step of a computer or page scanner. They are portable and easy to use, but finding ideas heard on previous pages can be a challenge to students studying books for a test or paper. A software version on a computer can highlight or bookmark text for easy review on another occasion. Flipping through a book's pages seeking a reference with the pen-sized reader would take more effort.
To search on the web, use terms such as "text-to-speech" and "reading pen." These terms will bring up the hardware and software programs for reading chapter books aloud. Software and hardware may be more difficult to locate in a store until the popularity of electronic book literature increases. Until then, the web-based market is strong and easy to access.