Audio books come in two distinct forms - unabridged and abridged. To put it in simple words, unabridged audio books are basically complete recorded versions of the original novel, whereas abridged audio books consist of only the most important parts of the book.
In unabridged audio books, the narrator reads out every single word from the original novel. As it is a complete novel, it is obviously pretty lengthy. These audio novels are intended for people who wish to listen to every single word of the book and have time and patience to sit around and listen to it. As we all know, listening to so many spoken pages would take up a lot of time, which is why reading unabridged audio novels is rather time-consuming. If you are the sort of person who scans through books, rest-assured that unabridged audio novels are not meant for you.
Abridged audio books on the other hand merely consist of the most noteworthy parts of the novel. What this means is that descriptions, subplots and wordy scenes are all left out and only the main plot of the book is recorded. Obviously, you do not need as much time to listen to abridged audio novels.
Costs of unabridged and abridged audio titles
Unabridged audio titles are a little expensive in the CD form as quite a few disks are required to record them. Obviously, if you order these over the internet, you would additionally need to pay the mailing costs. The production cost involved in the production of unabridged audio novels is higher too because the narrator needs to be paid more as s/he has to speak more in the recording. But in their MP3 format, the price difference between unabridged and abridged audio titles is less obvious.
Your personal preference
The issue of the listener's preference simply cannot be ignored. Audio book listeners largely prefer listening to every single word written by the author. This is a major reason behind the popularity of unabridged audio titles. Moreover, authors usually do not permit the production of abridged versions of their books as it might tarnish the quality of their work. However, the produced audio novels usually have "approved by the author" recorded on to them to show that the author has consented to the production of these audio titles. Both unabridged and abridged versions are particularly good for visual impaired individuals as well as those with reading disabilities.
At the end of it all, it is completely your choice whether you pick abridged or unabridged audio books!
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