In this age of immediate gratification and faster means better, do you think that abridgments are required to make certain that the classics continue to be read? Do you think that it is a good thing or a bad thing? Have you ever read an abridged edition simply because the original was "too long"?
Mainly because I love the written word, I make every effort to avoid abridgments. I want to absorb the words that the author wrote just the way they wrote it. Whose to say that an abridgment didn't leave out a critical part. However, because of the lack of interest in reading for many in the younger generation (video games and movies are more their interests) having them read even an abridged version is better than not reading at all. I just hope that there never comes a time when Harry Potter is abridged. As long as authors like J.K.Rowling, Rick Riordan, and George RR Martin (to name a few) continue to write, we may be able to develop readers in the younger generations. As for me, I'll still plug through the classics one at a time, full length.
I will admit that as a child I read abridged versions of stories. In my tween years , there was a book discussion group for us call the Great Books of the Western world and we read abridged versions. But I think that only made me want to read the entire book if I liked the shortened version. My father was the leader of the discussion group so we were reading the same book together. Guess that's why I like book groups too.
So what about you, full length or abridged? And if it's a chunkster, does reading it with someone help to get you through?