When I was young, I read a lot of abridged classics. We had a whole series of them at home, and I was more interested in those stories than the middle grade books that were likely more suitable for someone my age. Having abridged versions of these otherwise long, dense novels made them more approachable, and more enjoyable. I had the taste of an older reader, but not the vocabulary to take on the true version of these stories.
Now, as an adult, I avoid abridged versions. They give the impression that I’ll be missing out on the story if I read them. I want to experience all the details and atmosphere the author wrote for it. Just in case they took out something wonderful for the sake of brevity. Even though I don’t feel like I missed out on anything important when I read so many abridged books years ago.
Even though I don’t read them anymore, I still see the value in having abridged versions available. They make classics and dense fiction approachable for younger readers, or anyone who’s intimidated by a big book. Even older readers can use them as a starting point to try out an intimidating book and get all the main points. Then, if you liked the abridged version well enough, it might make the full version even more appealing to pick up.
Do you read abridged books?