If the professor says, “Read the complete works of Shakespeare” and you go for the Cliff Notes, you could say you read a short version of the Bard’s work, but really, you're cheating. A version is a specific edition or form of something.
Version derives from the Latin vertere, "to turn." Think of it as someone taking a turn, as in an adaptation of a work of art or literature. "Can you believe they made an animated version of The Sinking of the Lusitania?" Or someone giving their own account of an event. "Your version of what happened the night we got locked in the storage unit is totally different from mine!"