I mentioned David Copperfield the other day. There are two of him on my foreign shelves. One in the original, and one an adapted version translated into Swedish.
In my childhood there was a series of classic children’s books called Sagas Berömda Böcker. They were a little out of my price range, so I believe most of mine were gifts from the Retired Children’s Librarian.
I liked them a lot, and they helped give me a slightly wrong idea of what’s a classic and what’s a children’s book. Because when they are translated, and adapted (=abridged), it usually makes books child friendly. They caused me to consider Ivanhoe a children’s book, which surprised the Resident IT Consultant quite a bit to begin with.
How could I know it wasn’t?
This series gave me Jules Verne and Alexandre Dumas, as well as David Copperfield and Ivanhoe. I was desperate to collect enough of them. If you got five (I think) of the coupons attached to the books, you could send off for 50 personalised Ex Libris stickers, and I wanted those really badly.
As you can’t see, I must have scraped enough together for my stickers. The one above is the blank one that came with the book.
I have a dreadful feeling I never did put all of them into books. I think I tired of them before I got to the end. But it’s a clever way of making young readers want more.
As I grew older and possibly more sensible, I felt a certain amount of shame for having read abridged books. By now I feel it was OK. It got me started, and the books were not short by any means; just ‘adapted.’