The long and the short of it - Karen Bush
The great thing about a Kindle is that you can make an instant purchase - no need to traipse into town (possibly only to discover that the book you wanted isn't actually in stock anyway) or frustrating days of waiting for the postman.
Want a book?
Need the next instalment this very instant?
Click and it's yours, delivered to your Kindle within seconds.
Except that sometimes it's easy to be a little hasty and to click the wrong title.
It happened to me recently - right book, but wrong version - an abridged text instead of the full length one. Thank goodness it's easy to return if you make such an error.
But it did set me to thinking.
What, exactly, is the point of an abridged book?
If an author intended their book to be shorter, they'd write it that way. Abridging it seems an insult. And if a reader can't cope with it in all its full glory, then surely they can use their initiative and skim through any passages that don't engage them.
At least they wouldn't miss any good bits because they'd been selectively excised.
|The Great Rosette|
You miss a lot of the richness sometimes. I remember reading both versions of In This House of Brede, a novel about a middle-aged businesswoman with a tragic past who becomes a contemplative nun.
The abridged version was lovely - the complete one lovelier.
Skimming is not necessarily a good substitute for a careful removal of some of the subplots and some of the characters - I am in awe of the people who can abridge things.
I write long - and I usually can't see where to remove a subplot or a character. I edit for tight prose, but I would LOVE to see what a competent abridger might do with my novel-in-progress. Just out of curiosity to see what they would remove.
But apart from that - I'm with you. I'd rather the full version, with all its nooks and crannies.