Why I Sometimes Listen To Abridged Audio Books

Abridged Audio Books

I usually find it essential to get the full version of whatever I’m reading. If it is an article or a scholarly essay, I want to know all the details so that I can make up my mind. If it is fiction, I want to experience everything the author wanted to show me. When I’m listening to a famous piece of literature as a digital audiobook, I often prefer the unabridged version as well. With unabridged audiobooks, I get to experience the full story rather than a cleverly made summary.

When I don’t have a lot of time or if I’m traveling somewhere, however, it’s an entirely different matter. When taking public transit in the morning, for example, I like to listen to abridged audiobooks on the way to work. I don’t have a lot of time to listen to the story, and I want it to move along at a rapid pace so that I can make some progress on the 20 minutes or so to work every day.

abridged audiobooks

On long car rides or business trips, I also sometimes prefer abridged audiobooks. It’s nice to be able to take in a whole novel in a few hours rather than having to pick it up again when I get home. A lot of the downloadable audiobooks I listen to when I’m traveling are pretty light reading anyway, so it doesn’t matter how complete and comprehensive the story is. If an editor can pare down a bulky, cumbersome book to a lighter, more bite-size version, why shouldn’t I enjoy saving some time?

Not all abridged audiobooks are of the same quality, so it’s really good to get an idea of how well a particular company does at shortening.

Personally, when I’m exploring new books on tape, I like to listen to both an unabridged audiobook and an abridged book by them and compare the two. If I feel like I’ve missed some good parts when I listen to the abridged version, I know to avoid their abridgments in the future.


What is the difference between an abridged and unabridged audiobook?

The difference is the length. An abridged audiobook is a shortened version. You’ll get the main idea of the book without all the smaller details! An unabridged audiobook contains all the original content of the book!

More often than not, however, I can barely tell the difference, and the shorter version takes significantly less time to listen to. In that case, I know that I can trust the editor to make the right cuts and keep the ‘feel’ of the original work intact while cutting out some of the filler from the abridged audiobook.