While I wait for a manuscript to beta-read, I’ve been catching up on my TBR pile – namely, the two bundles of SFF titles I got between end 2014 and beginning 2015 (hence no more bundles until those are all read!).
I’m enjoying the current book, and I enjoyed to start of a novel by a writer friend who was trying something new and his critical voice stopped him. But at the same time, I’m worried for readers.
I’m not a big reader myself, although since I started writing in English I read a lot more compared to when I did everything in Italian. And this might be happening only in Italy where nobody reads and the few who do mostly read genre books.
Anyhow, at our newsagents they advertize abridged versions of bestsellers. A 600pages Wilbur Smith novel “distilled to 280”!! An Italian author’s 312 pages reduced to 120!! Is readers’ attention span so low these days?!
I used to read “abridged versions” for kids of Salgari books. I remember in the 1980s Mom stopped buying a TV guide because it published “distilled” Harold Robbins novels (read: all the sex scenes crammed in 10-20 pages – I thought he wrote erotica, and I never read a full novel, LOL!).
So I guess it’s nothing new, really. But what does it say about Italian readers? That they like short books? And is it the same elsewhere?
Now, I’m not particularly worried for my books (I’m not a bestseller and my books are pretty short anyway), but I’m wondering. It might be just Italian traditional publishers doing this…
So I’m asking – does it happen in your country too? Do you like “distilled” or “abridged” versions?
Have a great weekend!