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As many of you can see, I've been a pretty terrible blogger lately! What can I say...Life.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Discussion Topic: What to do FIRST? Read the book or watch the movie?

What should you do first? Read the book or watch the movie/show?

This topic has come up in discussions before, but we never just talked about how you choose and what seems to be the best way to go about doing things.

In the past, I have found that most people say to read the book first. However, I feel that reading the book first sets too high of an expectation for the movie. You read the book, fall in love with every word of it, and you expect the directors and writers to fit it all into a 2 hour period. Yet, this never works. Lines must be cut, scenes must be rearranged, and all in all, many of us end up hating the movie for it!

Seeing the movie/show first can allow you to enjoy it for what it is, without the heavy expectations. You take the new twists and turns for what they are, just some wonderful entertainment.

But the discussion goes both ways. When in came to Harry Potter, I'm very happy that I read the books first. I think it helped me understand the movies better, know more of what was really going on, especially in a world that is so new. The same goes for Lord of the Rings. That movie would have been terribly confusing (not really the plot, but all the names) without having read the book first.

On another note, sometimes I have watch a series/movie, loving the characters, the ongoing plots, etc. Then, turned to read the books for the full inside info, and absolutely condemned the book for not being as good. Case and point would be my two reviews of The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars. I LOVE the shows, but really can't stand the books at all.

It's hard to decide which is the better route.

Perhaps if I make a list, this will help...

Read the Book First and was Happy with the Show/Movie:
  • Harry Potter
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Frankenstein
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Much Ado About Nothing
Read the Book First and was Unhappy with the Show/Movie:
  • Twilight
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Beastly (was a little better the 2nd time around)
  • Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Saw the Show/Movie First and was Happy with the Book:
  • The Last Song
  • Matilda
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream
Saw the Show/Movie First and was Unhappy with the Book:
  • The Vampire Diaries
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • Great Expectations
Seems to be just about even to me.

However, I think your best bet is to read the book first, but WELL BEFORE the movie/show comes out. Give yourself enough time to forget some of the book, so it can be a pleasant surprise when certain parts show up in the movie to remind you.

What do you all think?
Do you have a list of your own that you could make out?


  1. I would see the movie and then read the book to get everything that was passed over. The film could be a good preview of the book.

  2. To combine this discussion with ours in the previous post, I just watched Where the Wild Things Are for the second time. That movie is super artsy. How do you feel about it? And to make it relevant to this post, how do you feel about the adaptation?

    1. I actually have not read the book or seen the movie. I really did not read anything as a kid. Anything kids books before Harry Potter registers on my radar very seldomly. And since I knew nothing about the book, the movie didn't strike my interest.

    2. I'm taking a course on children's literature now and learning that there is a lot more to it than expected. An essential topic for discussion is whether books should be age-defined. Why shouldn't an adult read a book that is designated for children if they enjoy it?

    3. SOunds like a good class. I think books simply need to be aged in order to say what age you need to reach in order to read the book and understand the events. But, I feel everything implies that age and up. so say a book says age 8, that implies 8 and up.

    4. But who's to say that a 6yo couldn't read and comprehend that book? Age does not equal maturity.

    5. I agree with you completely. I just understand that they need to have an average age limit for the sake of aiding the parents in making a desicion of whether or not their child should read it. Just like the movie rating system. I was watching rated R at 12 years old becuase my parents knew it wouldn't scare me or upset me, especially if they were there. But I knew other parents that took the ratings very seriously and would not allow their children to watch PG13 until they were 13.

      I see it simply as a tool and not a restriction.

    6. That is an interesting standpoint. I will bring it up with the professor and get her opinion on the matter. It happens to be Dr. Papazian, Roberson's wife.

    7. That's cool. I guess I remember Roberson saying she taught too.

  3. So far, the only time I've done the book/movie thing is with "The Notebook." I read the book first then saw the movie. I noticed that for the most part, it was the same. There were some additions to the movie that I liked a lot, and I didn't really notice anything taken out of the book except the ending. Oh, there's also "The Princess Diaries." Again, liked the changes made to the movie and didn't really notice or care about the differences. Other than that, I've pretty much just either read the book with intentions of seeing the movie or seen the movie with intentions of reading the book.

    As far as I know, none of the books I read have been made into a TV series and none of the shows I watch were first books.

    1. Good to know you could enjoy both!

      I was actually surprised how many things were books first! I googled something about books being turned into shows and couldn't believe the amount of shows that started as books. Come to think of it though, I can't really remember any except for "Bones" which plays on Fox. That was a book first which surprised me.

  4. Oh teah, I forgot about Bones. I guess I do watch a show based on a book. :P


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