Survey: Abridged Versions of Books Win Popularity in China

May 29, 2018  Editor: Su Yilin

China Youth Daily conducted a recent survey among 2,000 respondents aged from 18 to 58 about their experience of, and opinion towards, reading abridged versions of popular books.

According to the results, some 84.4 percent of those polled had experience of reading abridged versions of books.

Specifically, some 60.3 percent had read at least one guided or simplified version of a classic literary work; 57.3 percent had read a simplified motivational book; and, 38.4 percent had read specially published study notes.

Regarding their opinion on the topic, some 53.1 percent said they supported the practice; 20.3 percent objected; and, 26.5 percent said they didn’t know.

According to statistics, reading a simplified book can have both positive and negative effects on readers.

Some 54.1 percent of respondents said they have benefited from reading a simplified book; 46 percent of the readers said such reading saves their time; 45.5 percent said simplified books have made their reading easier; and, 27.7 percent said such books can attract more people to read.

Meanwhile, some 23.4 percent said abridged books make their reading less meaningful; 19.7 percent said such books may cause misunderstanding of the original work; and, 17.1 percent said simplified books make reading less serious.

"Reading simplified version of masterpieces has greatly broadened my view, although some of the plots are not as wonderful as is in the original work," said a male student majoring in engineering.

According to the statistics, some 58.3 percent of the respondents said not all kinds of books can be simplified; 55.8 percent suggested to select books based on their simplified versions, which can help to save a lot of time; 46.2 percent said readers should be independent from simplified books; and, 28.5 percent suggested to make a compared reading of the simplified and the original work.

"When we select books for our children, we should take their personal character into consideration. If our kids love reading, then let them read the original work.

Otherwise, reading a simplified version of the book will be a good choice," said one commentator.

(Source: and edited by Women of China)

Related stories