are the kindle books abridged or unabridged or both?

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Showing 1-25 of 147 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 27, 2008 6:30:16 PM PDT
L. Styles says:
I like to read unabridged books. Are the kindle titles abridged or unabridged or is it like audiobooks where both versions are available?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2009 1:03:25 PM PST
I think there are scattered cases of a single story from a collection being sold individually for a small price. Otherwise, everything is unabridged, it is simply the text of the book.

Posted on May 30, 2009 3:16:44 AM PDT
Moab says:
A glance at books indicates to me there is abridgement. The paperback of one book was 10 pages longer than the Kindle version. This seems to be frequently the case.

I don't own a Kindle (as purchasing a license to own a book is not the same as owning the book) so I can't do a text analysis, but yes, the Kindle books seem to be abridgements.

If this is indeed the case, it seems rather unfair of Amazon to do this, but then again, the general user agreement for the Kindle is unfair.

Posted on Sep 7, 2009 6:16:18 PM PDT
Sy Gelman says:
of all the p&p versions available, which is the best to buy / download

Posted on Sep 7, 2009 6:17:28 PM PDT
Sy Gelman says:
of all the p&p versions available, which is the best to buy / download

Posted on Sep 19, 2009 7:34:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 19, 2009 7:40:46 AM PDT
MusicalMommy says:
I love the annotated Pride and Prejudice (available on Amazon). The Annotated Pride and Prejudice

I borrowed it from the library and will purchase my own copy soon. The story is on the left hand side page and the annotations are on the right side. The annotations include explanations of what the text means as well as illustrations. I've read the novel 4x--including 1x in University English Lit Class. I got the most out of my last read (this read). For example, it explains what it really meant to Mrs. Bennett when Mr. Bingley has 5,000 pounds a year and Mr. Darcy gets 10,000 pounds. Mr. Bingley's fortune amounted to today's equivalent of $300,000+ US dollars per year and two hundred years ago, that was A LOT because cost of living was so much lower than today! I also saw an illustration of Catherine de Bourgh's "Phaeton and Ponies" and what all that meant. These are just a few examples of such delightful insights. Also, don't get the Kindle version. The illustrations will disappoint.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2010 8:59:44 PM PST
S. Goodman says:
my husband downloaded a free version of Pride and Prejudice from amazon, and I found several lines of conversation omitted just in the first chapter, when compared with my hard copy edition of the same book. Amazon's website did not mention anything about the edition being abridged.

Posted on Feb 3, 2010 3:04:22 PM PST
When pages are SCANNED the scanner does not always convert all text to text, and sometimes even printable characters. It is possible that this isn't really abridged - just corrupted! I have, however, noticed in current books spelling variations like "ser vice" that are consistent throughout an entire series. At first I thought this was where the original had flow to the end of the line, but there were too many of them and changing fonts didn't seem to change the occurance of the extra blank. I couldn't tell whether this was a before edited version or just that the conversation from "type-set" formatting wasn't as good as it could be!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2010 1:15:45 PM PST
The Kindle books are exactly the same as the paperback or hardcover versions of the books, unless otherwise noted. I have never run across a book that wasn't and I have had my Kindle for over a year. I'm not quite sure what Moab was looking at when he/she said that the Kindle book was 10 pages shorter than the paperback, Kindle books don't have page numbers. Also, different editions of the same books in paperback can have a different number of pages depending on the font used by the publisher. I wouldn't assume that because two different publications of the same book have different page counts that the content is different.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2010 2:15:00 PM PST
Ladycon says:
I was wondering the same thing. Either I have developed speed-reading capabilities or the books are very short.

Posted on Feb 7, 2010 1:44:57 PM PST
Marilee says:
A few of the "free" classic books may inadvertently have parts missing, but the published books you purchase are all full, unabridged versions. If a book has something missing, it's because whoever did the scanning made a mistake. It's not common, but mistakes and ommissions do happen because many free books are scanned by volunteers who may goof up.

I sense that some people aren't all that familiar with how books are numbered. It's not the same as with the printed page. On Kindle, since people adjust the font size to suit themselves, pages are numbered with "locations", which will vary for each book, each page, each font. It will be consistent for the book unless you change the font size, but is not numbered the same as the pages in a printed book. For example, I just began reading The Pale Horseman. At the bottom of the page, it says I've only read 1%, am on Locations 66-73 and the total # of locations in this book is 6054. As I read, the location numbers and % read will reflect my progress.

If I change the font to a larger one, it says the page I'm on has locations 66-70. If I change it to small print, the same first page says Locations 66-75.

Posted on Aug 30, 2010 4:46:56 AM PDT
gilly8 says:
I'd call Kindle Customer service and ask this question: are they abridged or not? Their number is (free) 1-866-321-8851. They are extremely helpful, probably the best customer service out there. I doubt the Kindle downloads are abridged. For example, any books on CD or tape, if abridged, must say so. Same with books on I assume legally Kindle would be the same. But, I'd call them for clarification, they're always there and available, and if they don't know something they find it out for you. I doubt that the page vs dots (location at bottom of Kindle) are an exactly identical match---however if I was at the bookstore and picked out one of every version of Huckleberry Finn and compared what page number it ends at, I'd imagine there would be some differences too. (Size of page, size of font, space between lines and at end of lines, etc.)

I've had a kindle--the first one--for years, love it. No problems. I absolutely do NOT know what Moab is trying to say....."I don't own a Kindle (as purchasing a license to own a book is not the same as owning the book) so I can't do a text analysis, but yes, the Kindle books seem to be abridgements."
WHAT????? When we buy a book are we buying "thoughts out of the writer's head which someone then printed onto paper", or when we check out a book at the library are we paying the county (via taxes) to take the book home for two weeks? There are all sorts of bizarre ways to phrase things which do not make them true.

Moab "glanced at" a Kindle to make his decision....great, such open mindedness!

I DO notice, and its aggravating that whoever scans the book into Kindle often makes the kind of mistakes a prior poster mentioned, such as ser-vice in the middle of the line instead of where in the original format that he/she was using the ser- must have been at the end of the line and vice the first portion of the word in the new line.....big deal. I've seen mistakes like that in paperbacks and even more expensive books.

For me, the benefits of Kindle are the ability to make the font bigger, ALMOST as large as a large print book. For myself, and often mentioned in the Kindle forum, this is a major benefit to a lot of us whose eyesight is not what it was......I've also read in the Kindle forums that some disabled people feel it is beneficial to them as well.

I buy books on paper; books on books-on-CD and books on Kindle. I see/ feel no difference. Some I stop reading in the middle....the story just doesn't "grab" me, but as for feeling that a book on anything but paper is not a "real" book....nonsense. I'm sure that in the Middle Ages switching over from parchment to paper was stressful too! :--)

(BTW to the poster who is going to buy P&P annotated, I don't have that one, but do have "Alice in Wonderland" and "the Hobbit" in annotated versions, which are beautiful books and the annotations are helpful.)

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2010 5:20:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 11, 2010 5:25:51 PM PDT
Reply to Moab:

It is not possible to compare the length (in pages) of a book in different formats. Even in printed form, a given book may have multiple different typesets resulting in different page counts of identical material, and with computerized typesetting, this is even more likely. There is no notion whatsoever of book pages in digital books. A page is simply a view of some amount of text, and the amount of text in a view can be altered by changing the font size.

Occasionally, I have had the "feeling" that there was an abridgement, but in only one case has it actually proved to be so. It turned out that the abridgement had been in the translation from the original language (German) of that particular edition and had nothing to do with its publication in digital form. I had simply purchased a digitized version of this edition that had already been abridged in print form.

Your sequence of statements is more "unfair" than anything Amazon has done. First, claiming that a print version of a book is ten pages longer than its Kindle version demonstrates an ignorance of the nature of digital books, which have no pages. Because of this, it is impossible to "glance" at a book in digital format and detect an abridgement. Moreover, the claim that this "seems to be frequently the case" is absurd nonsense. Without proving your case, you immediately extend it by arguing that it is the rule and not the exception. Then, you say that this practice is "unfair of Amazon", but Amazon does not publish Kindle books. It simply sells them. If a publisher submits an abridged digital edition (i.e., abridged in conversion to digital form as opposed to digitizing an already abridged edition), Amazon can do nothing but offer it. If there is a betrayal, then it is the publisher's and not Amazon's betrayal.

Then you go on to say that the "general user agreement for the Kindle is unfair" but do not give any reason for this. I can hardly think how it could possibly be unfair as long as users have access to the agreement--whether they read it or not is not Amazon's problem--and Amazon lives up to their part. User agreements are a contract that both sides agree to. Potential users who do not cannot be forced to enter into the agreement. It is certainly unfair of users to expect Amazon to live up to their side of the agreement but take umbrage at having to do so themselves. What is more unfair is making moral judgments that are without foundation.

Posted on Oct 2, 2010 8:44:34 PM PDT
I bought a copy of The Maltese Falcon in the Rutgers series and it is very obviously a scanned book, not epublished. The opening page features a large "T" and you can see the original letters from the scanned book next to the "T". Ok charge a fair price like five bucks but don't state the books are epublished when they are scanned

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2010 12:04:11 AM PDT
Epublishing is the digital distribution of an electronic book or other such material. Its only role is to supply a document to the intended audience in a form by which it can be consumed using a computing device. The only requirement is that the document be in some kind of digitized form. That could be anything from a purely text file to a sequence of photographed pages of text and images. There is no betrayal of the consumer in the use of any digitizing method as long as the resulting document can be consumed using the intended computing device.

You have no claim against Amazon, of course, because 1) they only sell ebooks, they do not publish them, and 2) with some few exceptions, prices are set by the publishers and not by Amazon. You have no claim against the publisher because its representation of a scanned document as epublished is entirely within the letter and the spirit of the term. Scanning is just one of many forms of digitizing of material to be epublished, and in some cases, it may be the preferred method for some particularly artistic material.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2010 8:29:02 PM PST
I recently bought a favorite book on Kindle (not a Jane Austen title) and it was clear that quotations from literature were left out. Got so bad that I went and bought another edition which was not screwed up

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2011 9:16:46 AM PST
I have two copies of one book - one from Audible on my ipod and the other a copy to read on Kindle. They are NOT the the same - whole of first chapter missing in Kindle version - and neither was an abridged copy. Whether there are any other omissions I am not yet sure since I have only listed to the firts three chapters on my ipod.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2011 10:03:32 AM PST
Moab says:
Years later as this conversation has gone we can see that yes, the Kindle versions still differ from the print copy and are alway shorter, never longer. A spade is a spade - they are abridging the books.

Additionally - regarding the licensing issue, gilly8, give it a go. Sell your kindle version to a used paperbook store or offer it to a friend who then offers it to a friend. You can't and you'll find that it is a violation of the usage policy. In other words: you don't own the book at all.

You don't need a kindle to see this - you just need to read their license and look at the content.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2011 4:30:26 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 1, 2011 4:34:44 PM PST
I have tried to explain to folks here that this is not Amazon's or the Kindle's fault. They are not the ones who digitize ebooks. This is done by book publishers. Amazon only sells what is offered to them by the publishers. The publisher may choose to abridge the digitized version, digitize an already abridged version, or make a mistake--which is common--in the digitizing process. If they did allow Amazon to digitize their books, there would be a contractual relationship that would constrain what Amazon could and could not do. They would never be allowed to alter the book's content in any material way without the consent and direction of the publisher.

Also, no one owns the copyrighted content of any book--print or digital. The reason that people are not allowed to do with a digital book what they can with paper books--sharing, donating, etc.--is that it is so easy to game the system with digital material. Content providers are justifiably cautious about their licensing of digital content because consumers have demonstrated a willingness to steal it. A great many who would never walk into a store and walk out with a CD, DVD, or book without paying for it are quite willing to make illegal copies of digital content they do not own.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2011 5:16:52 PM PST
Moab says:
That's actually a good point. I didn't know that. Still, aren't they obligated to tell us that these versions are different than the print versions or are we supposed to assume that because they are "Kindle versions?"

Regarding the content issue - that's the spin that's put on it. Clearly owners of a book don't own the intellectual content. They own the _book_ with which they can do many things with (sell, give away, loan, take back, trade for other books) all of which you can't do (with some exceptions of late - I believe there is a loaning thing in the Kindle policy these days) with a license to use.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2011 6:55:52 PM PST
If you mean that Amazon is obligated, no. They probably are not even aware that they are different. They simply offer what is given them. I DO think publishers ought to inform readers whenever content is altered from the original in any medium. So far, however, I have only encountered one Kindle book out of over 3,000 I now own that was abridged. But this may be due to the fact that almost all of these are classic literature that is out of copyright.

There is no spin about the licensing. The simple fact is that it is the law that the material a book contains is not owned by the person who possesses the book regardless of form, and that law is very important. Many people do not appreciate the fact that copyright protection has made the enormous diversity of literature possible primarily by making it possible for people to publish who would otherwise be unable to. Without copyright, only the very wealthy could afford to publish books. Just as with property rights, it is the poor that are empowered. If there were no copyright protection laws, the wealthy could still achieve a practical level of protection simply by buying it. The poor get such protections only if the law provides for it without regard to the amount of money or power one possesses. It is only through laws such as copyright that the non-wealthy can do much of anything in this country.

Posted on Mar 3, 2011 10:22:16 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 3, 2011 10:24:26 AM PST
Does Amazon tell you when a book is abridged or otherwise shortened? All I have seen is "Kindle Edition" - not whether it is abridged or unabridged. I don't like abridged books, and don't want to purchase a book and find out later that it is not the full version.

Posted on Mar 3, 2011 2:17:23 PM PST
As stated previously, this is NOT Amazon but the book publishers. Amazon is a retailer, not a publisher. Amazon cannot know whether a book is abridged unless the publisher says it is. Amazon lacks the resources to find out for themselves whether an eBook received from a publisher is abridged, so if there is an abridged eBook that does not identify it as such, it is the fault of the publisher and NOT Amazon.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2011 12:45:19 PM PDT
Jane Manning says:
You might want to start at the top of this page and read down. I just did. Very interesting. But honestly, I am still not sure of the answer. Whether it's Amazon or the publisher's abridging or 'volunteers' (can this be true?) who scan the books making mistakes, there doesn't seem to be a way to know for sure. But IMO, yes, they are shorter. I am reading more books in less time than I ever did before I got my Kindle. I can't believe it is because I am not turning a page.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2011 1:13:26 PM PDT
Jane Manning says:
You seem really well versed on this subject so this is what I do not understand. Just as an example: "The Law & The Lady" there is a Kindle Edition for $9.99 and a Kindle Edition for $0.00. There HAS to be a difference, right? Or am I missing something obvious.
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Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice by Ian Edginton (Hardcover - June 1973)
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