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Unabridged vs Abridged Audio Books, What’s the Difference?


Never given thought to seek out unabridged selections in your audio book purchases? Unabridged audiobooks can offer more listening experience per minute for a lower cost. But what’s the difference?

Unabridged audio books include basically any book recorded whole. Usually recorded as the author (and usually the editor) intended it published in its original print form, they receive little or no editing. In other words if the print version of the book contains 500 pages, every word, sentence and paragraph from those pages will transfer to an audio format.

On the other hand an abridged audio book works just the opposite. Condensed from its original form, the author and or editor approve this version before production. Condensing may squeeze that 500 page book into 200 pages worth of recording. Often called the “reader’s digest” version in audio book form, you’ll certainly find it much shorter than the original. As an example of this you might think of a movie adaptation of a book as an abridged version of the original work.

Many times the reasons to abridge are to save space. Where an unabridged audio book would take maybe twelve CD’s, the abridged version might take only four. The publisher can then charge a slightly less amount for the abridged version and earn more profit without losing much from the story?.Or do they?

As an example for cost and size I looked up one of my favorite titles by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen, The One Minute Millionaire. The abridged version consists of three CDs that run 3 hours and 20 minutes and costs about $24. The unabridged version offers 10 CDs that run for 12 hours 21 minutes and retails around $58. Although I haven’t listened to the abridged version I have to wonder just how much information was left out and what possible important parts.

Looking at the example I gave, for a little more than twice the price you get almost four times the listening experience and knowledge! The example prices I gave are retail. By using an audiobook club such as SimplyAudiobooks or Audible that offers titles for purchase or rental the savings could be much much more.

To get the most enjoyment out of your audio book selections look to see if an unabridged versions is available. For the most cost savings join an audio book club and get unabridged titles whenever you can.


Source by Stone Dupree

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