Read abridged versions of classics or wait for the real thing?

7 replies, Page 1

mango_mama 2009-11-30 07:16:51



Our 9 year old enjoys reading. Recently she has been getting abridged versions of classics like Oliver Twist, Tom Sawyer etc. These are classics for kids. In the begining I was pleased that she was reading them.

Then, as I was leafing through an original classic, I felt in 2-3 years she would be ready for the real thing and can enjoy those--unadulaterated by having read a simpler one earlier.

Why hurry and make them read things beyond their years? They have their life in front of them. Let them enjoy what they have EQ and not just IQ for their age.

But bookstores have so many abridged versions of classics. Am I missing something?

stj 2009-11-30 08:42:08


If she enjoys it, then why not. Its better to have them reading classics than all the other novels and comics or watching tv.

Classics are a way to get them interested in literature, and the language in the abridged versions are much more simpler. These versions have been rewritten for kids, and have cut out alot of profane and obsence language....sorry for being so blunt... but having read both the original and abridged versions, i feel at this age, its a good idea to have them read the abridged versions. And with so much to learn at school , i feel a short and light read during the weekends will help them relax.

There are also good classics for her age( i loved these books whn i was her age) like anne of green gables , the secret garden...etc. If u r in blore try the strands book fair thats going on. Saw the same books and much more for a very good bargain.

take care....


mango_mama 2009-11-30 08:49:24


Thnks stj,

Great idea about secret garden etc.

What i am wondering is should i have her read these abridged classics or read the real thing 2/3 years later and truly enjoy those (suspense etc.)?

She does enjoy other books though--Harry Potter series, Roald Dahl etc...

Maybe should not over analyse....



sathya 2009-11-30 14:19:07



Definitely abridged. Its great fun. The language is simpler and easier to understand. Did this all my young life - Dickens, Austen, Twain, Robert Scott, Dumas. Made me fall in love with the classics. My dad used to buy them off the used-book wallas on Mumbai streets.

Got to 20+ - started reading originals. Loved them even more.

I also remember reading the abridged ones for "English Non-detail". Anyone remember that class?



stj 2009-11-30 16:42:24


Very true Sathya. Reading classics at a young age , sparked my interest towards literarure at a very young age.

And yes, loved the "English non-detail" texted.... that was always the first book i read every school year.

By the way, which r the good first/seconds book store in blore? looking for " the complete tales of peter rabbit by beatrix potter" for my 2 yr old.




apar_sai 2009-11-30 16:59:26



My son loved abridged Huckleberry Finn. He enjoyed all the gory parts 'cos he's never been exposed to it before - pig's blood, the cemetry visit etc :-D.

He loves "Adventures of Robin Hood" (abridged). He isn't interested in girl-stories :( . I picked up "What Katy Did' and it lay untouched. Abridged "Diary of Anne Frank" was untouched too. But a story about Wright Brothers and the airplane was gobbled up many times!!

"Classic Start" by Dolphin Press comes up with good versions - retaining some of the beautiful languae of the original. My vote for abridged :).







Sumo 2009-12-01 09:36:40



The abridged version can actually kindle the interest to pick the original classics.   The language in some of the classics is too Victorian to follow and can dampen the interest for an youngster - abridged are good trade-offs here.   On that note, I wish I could lay my hands on James Joyce's 'Ulysses' abridged version - could never go past 15 pages in the original!!

Sathya, Yes, the English Non-detail classes!  The only exam that most of us used to look forward to!

Stj,  For used and even some obscure publications, try Blossoms on Church Street (opposite Amoeba exit gate) - you need hours to browse and you are sure to find some treasure at dirt cheap prices.  Gangarams, Strand, Higgin bothams, Reliance Time out also have good collection for youngsters.




mango_mama 2009-12-01 09:41:37


Thanks all! So am pretty convinced and will open the gates wide to abridged classics for the little one. ;-)

But am curious, that once you read the abridged versions and then read the classics. Did you still enjoy the classics as much?

I think, some I never really remembered so it was okay. ;-)

Regarding used books:

As Sumo says Blossoms is very good. Also, Strand and Reliance are having their sale. Strand always has a discount so is the best. But other shops like Crossword etc. display them better.



All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2008-2023 Parentree