Monday, August 22, 2011
Read the Book or Watch the Movie?
With the growing number of books being made into movies, I felt the need to tackle a debated issue. What should be done first: read the book or watch the movie?
I’ve never been one to be choosy either way. Usually what ends up being the case for me is that I grow up watching the movie before knowing about the book, then I read the book. Or I read the book and suddenly, they’re making a movie out of it. I don’t get the choice most of the time.
One that’s coming up soon is The Hunger Games. It will be out March 23rd 2012. I haven’t read the book yet. I know, I know. You’re probably thinking, “YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET?!” I’m crazy to be this far behind. I hear it’s amazing. I have it downloaded to my Nook and I’m pretty excited to read it. With the movie’s premiere date approaching rapidly, it comes down to the above question.
As a book lover, I feel that reading the book is the best thing to do first if you can. I’d say 9 times out of 10 the book is generally better than the movie. Sometimes it’s hard for them to make a good book into a good movie. There’s so much to a book, so many details, and fitting it into 1 ½ to 2 hours is pretty near impossible.
On the other hand, a few movies and TV shows have piqued my interest in the book that originated it. Just like I said before in my review of Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar. I tried to read it before, couldn’t get into it, saw the show, read the book, liked it. Same with Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Saw the movie, had to read the book.
The movie The Help just came out recently, and it’s getting rave reviews (not to mention was being plastered all over Goodreads). At first, I was curious and wanted to read the book. The more I thought about it, I don’t know if it’s a book I can really sink my teeth into. It’s not really a genre I’m familiar with and before when I tried reading in the genre, my interest couldn’t stay alive. Then a coworker of mine strongly recommended it to me. Then a friend mentioned to my brother how great the movie was. And then I sigh.
I bought The Hunger Games because it was talked about constantly, and because it was actually being filmed (not just “in the works” of getting started like a lot of other novels turned books). With this one, I am definitely interested in reading the book before watching the movie. With The Help, you’re more likely going to get me to see the movie and we’ll see if I read the book.
It’s a never ending battle. I’m curious about everyone else: Do you have a hard and fast rule of always doing one or the other first? Or does it depend on the genre? I’d love to find out!
(Sometime later I’ll discuss movies from books that completely do everything wrong, there’s just too much to talk about there!)