What is the difference between abridged & unabridged audiobooks?

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You may have been listening to Audiobooks for so long, but it’s possible that you will not be aware of the abridged and unabridged audiobooks on those Audiobook websites.

If you don’t know what is meant by the abridged and unabridged audiobooks, then in this post, I am going to tell you everything about this.

Abridged Audiobook: it’s a shortened version of the original book, which will give you a detailed idea of the original book. It will not be like a small summary with few details; instead, the Abridged format will talk about the idea of the book in detail, and will give you all the important information about the book.

Unabridged Audiobook: it’s the complete audio version of the book with all the contents, the whole kit, and the caboodle.

So the main difference between the abridged and unabridged audiobooks is the length of the book.

Abridged Audiobooks are the short version of the book, and on the other hand, Unabridged Audiobooks are the original books with all the content.

What Is The Difference Between Abridged & Unabridged Audiobooks
This Is An Unabridged format, check in the Audiobook details

Abridged vs. Unabridged AudioBooks Examples?

So here is an example, if you are an Audible user, then go to the Audible and search for “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari,” written by Robin Sharma.

Abridged vs. Unabridged AudioBooks Examples?
This Is Abridged Format
What Is The Difference Between Abridged & Unabridged Audiobooks?
This Is Unabridged Format

There is both Abridged and Unabridged version available for this AudioBooks. One is narrated by himself Robin Sharma, which is the Abridged version, and there is another one which is narrated by Humphrey Bower, which is the Unabridged version. 

How To Filter Abridged and Unabridged audiobooks On Audible?

I think now you will have the idea of what is meant by the Abridged and Unabridged audiobooks on the Audible.

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It’s really important for you as an audible user to know about this so you can decide what version of the book you should choose.

You can simply filter between the Abridged and Unabridged audiobooks, and here is how to do this,

For Desktop Site

  • Go to Audible.com
  • Login to your account if needed
  • Tap on the Advanced Search, just below the search box
  • Scroll down and choose between Abridged and Unabridged audiobooks under the Abridgment

For Mobile Site

  • Open Audible.com from your mobile browser
  • Login to your account if needed
  • Tap on the search bar, and search for the title, or browser the books from the menu
  • Tap refine
  • Scroll down and choose between Abridged and Unabridged audiobooks under the Abridgment

For Smartphone App (Android, IOS)

  • Open Audible app
  • Login to your account if needed
  • Tap on the search bar, and search for the title
  • Tap refine
  • Scroll down and choose between Abridged and Unabridged audiobooks under the Abridgment

How To Identify Between Abridged & Unabridged Audiobooks On Audible?

You can find this information on the Audiobook detail page, whether the Audiobook is Abridged or Unabridged.

  • Just open any Audiobook which you may like to buy
  • Check the Audiobooks details to see if the Audiobook is Abridged or Unabridged
What Is The Difference Between Abridged & Unabridged Audiobooks?

Journey Of Abridged and Unabridged audiobooks?

Audiobooks are a very new concept over paper books, so in the initial days of the Audiobook, Abridged Audiobooks were more popular than Unabridged audiobooks because of their length.

On average Abridged Audiobooks are 30% to 70% smaller than the Unabridged Audiobooks, and that’s why users really enjoyed the Abridged format over the ​​Unabridged version.

Later in the boom of the Audiobook industry, the hardcode listeners start asking for the Unabridged format of the books.

According to the many research from few past years, the Unabridged version of the Audiobooks is becoming more popular than the abridged version. And many publishers are closing or decreasing the publication of abridged Audiobooks.

According to the report published on the Statista website, “Distribution of audiobook sales in the United States in 2014 and 2016”. There is a huge demand for unabridged audiobooks, but on the other hand, you can see very little and decreasing demand for abridged Audiobooks.

Here are stats for the Distribution of audiobook sales in the United States in 2014 and 2016

  • 2014: Unabridged (91%), Abridged (9%)
  • 2015: Unabridged (96.3%), Abridged (3.7%)
  • 2016: Unabridged (95.9%), Abridged (3.8%)

However, there is still an ongoing online debate over the usefulness of the abridged Audiobooks. Many people prefer the abridged format, and many like the unabridged version.

Although it’s a personal decision and completely depends on the person that he/she likes the abridged or unabridged audiobooks.

Pros & Cons Of Abridged

ProsCons
Cheaper than unabridged versionStory may be distorted if compare to original
Enjoy the book without ‘the fluffYou will lose the fluff of the book, or story
Accessible to a wider audience
Low Production Cost
Best for busy peoples who have limited free time

Pros & Cons Of Unabridged

ProsCons
Original contentLong time duration
Enjoy the story (book) with its fluffIt cost more
Best for the hardcore readers or listenersLittle boring than abridged books because they are very long

What Should You Pick Between Abridged & Unabridged AudioBooks?

It’s very much a personal choice, and the choice very much depends on readers’ personalities and situations.

You can ask yourself the following questions to find whether you should go with the Abridged Or Unabridged AudioBooks.

  • What is your audiobook listening capacity? It means you like listing for a long period of time, or short.
  • Do you have much free time to finish long Unabridged formats?
  • Do you want to enjoy all of the original details? Or you prefer the main story or essence of the book without the fluff.
  • Do you want a little cheaper Abridged version or Unabridged format, which will cost you a little more money?

If you are really confused and don’t have the idea of what to pick and what to not. Then you can go to Reddit and search for the Abridged vs. Unabridged to find about other people’s personal opinions.

And if you want to choose according to the market trends, then you should pick the Unabridged format because it’s much more popular than the Abridged books.

Do you want to know what I will pick for myself?

Then for me, it all depends on the genre of the book; if a book is about finance or self-development, then I will go with the abridged version because I can find all the main points of the book in a small period of time. But if the book is about someone’s life, or by a person to whom I am very inspired, then I will definitely go with the unabridged version.

In the end, it all depends on you because it’s your money which you are going to spend on those audiobooks so you should decide for yourself. I mentioned all the required details you may require to take the decision.

Real Peoples Opinions Over abridged and unabridged audiobooks On Reddit

Peoples Opinions Over abridged and unabridged audiobooks
Peoples Opinions Over abridged and unabridged audiobooks On Reddit
Real Peoples Opinions Over abridged and unabridged audiobooks On Reddit

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Rahul Choudhary

A Digital Marketer by profession and a passionate traveller. Technology has been always my first interest, so I consistently look for new updates in tech to explore, and also has expertise in WordPress.