Many books end up being turned into movies simply because of all the hype they generate in their book form, and let’s face it, a lot of us love to see our favorite characters come to life. And when our favorite books aren’t popular enough to get turned into movies, we cast the “would-be” movie ourselves. It’s just fun.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of times where the movie doesn’t live up to the hype of the book. That does sort of ruin it for a lot of people. My own personal example is Twilight. I’m sorry, but I cannot stand the movies, no matter how much I used to love Taylor Lautner. In fact, I hated the movies so much that it made me question the books… to the point where I won’t even reread because I’m afraid to waste my time.
Sometimes it’s not even that the movie doesn’t live up to the book, but they do take out a lot (like with Harry Potter). Of course, they have to do this though due to time constraints, and that’s understandable. However, there’s still so much that is missed when you cut down a book into movie format.
Now this post isn’t about debating if the movie or book is better (we all know it’s the book, duh), but rather if you should read the book first, or watch the movie first? This is for those who didn’t get around to reading a book before it became a movie or you weren’t really old enough to read the books before the movies came out (like the young Harry Potter fans of today’s world). Is it better to go into the movie knowing what’s going to happen? Or should you see the movie first and then get the rest of the details from the book? It’s not really about which you should do, but more what you prefer.
I usually prefer to read the book first because I like to get my own image of what the characters look like before I see them on-screen. That, and I just like the experience of reading a book and reading all those surprising twists and whatnot. However, there have been a few times that I’ve seen the movie first for a number of different reasons. I saw the Hunger Games movies before reading the books because when the first one came out, a friend was in town for one day and wanted to see it, so… we went. I actually didn’t mind it though, because it was still a few years after that I finally read the books and I still enjoyed them. It was interesting to do it in reverse.
Then last week I watched The Sun Is Also a Star, but I have not yet read the book. The movie was adorable and the reason I decided to see the movie first because I figured if it wasn’t that great, it wouldn’t ruin the book for me when I go to read it. This is a tactic I know some other people use because often times, the movie does ruin the book for people.
2 thoughts on “Read or Watch First?”
I prefer to read the book first just because if I read the book after I’ve seen the movie I can only picture those actors and those sets instead of creating it in my mind based on how the author wrote it. The main one that I can think of is No Country for Old Men. Wonderful wonderful movie so years later I picked up the book. This is one of those weird cases of the movie being such a good adaptation of the book that I was just playing the movie in my head as I read the book. Everything lined up! Even the dialogue was word for word! I think if I had done it the other way around I would have been impressed with the movie for doing it right and not felt like I was wasting time reading the book since I already knew every piece of it.
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I tend to be more excited for a film adaptation if I’ve read the book so I read before I watch. However, when it comes to TV series that are based on books, more often than not I’ve watched first and read second. When they are distinguished series that take a different trajectory to the books, it has actually been beneficial for me because I’ve liked them both equally and I can separate them.
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