Google+ Reading Teen: To Read the Book, or to Watch the Movie? That is the Question.

Monday, April 21, 2014

To Read the Book, or to Watch the Movie? That is the Question.

by Andye

With all the recent book-to-movie adaptations, I keep hearing the same thing over and over.  "Should I read the book first?"


Now I'm facing the same question.  I've never read If I Stay.  My mom read it and she loved it.  But I've just never gotten to it, partly because I just don't read very much contemp, and partly because it's already been reviewed.

So, what's better?  Reading the book first, then watching the movie?  Or watching the movie first, then reading the book?

In my experience, if I read the book first, I'm incredibly disappointed in the movie.  The first movie I ever saw where I read the book first was Harry Potter, Order of the Phoenix.  And let me tell you, I WAS PISSED!!  That director???


I liked the first four movies, but I hadn't read those books first, and I think that made all the difference.  Plus, it helped me so much to visualize the characters and Hogwarts, and Diagon Alley, and the Hogwarts Express, Dumbledore, and, and....sorry....I just got lost in a Harry Potter stupor.  That happens to me often.

Anyway!  Pretty much all the movies I've seen where I've read the book first, HP 5-7.5, The Hunger Games, The Firm (whoa, old school!), The Host, Beautiful Creatures, City of Bones, Percy Jackson, Divergent, etc. I've ended up disappointed (some more than others).  TWILIGHT!!


But the movies that I've watched before reading the book, I've ended up liking the movie.   Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter 1-4,  Vampire Academy, The Book Thief, Warm Bodies, Perks of Being a Wallflower.  And then often I still read the book and still love it.  Actually, I liked the Lord of the Rings movies better than the books.  They were very.....long.

BUT HERE'S THE PROBLEM:

I'm afraid that there will be things I won't understand if I haven't read the book, or that the books will be spoiled if I see the movie first.  Like, do the people that just watched Harry Potter actually have any idea what's going on?  I know so many people who watched Twilight first and then the books were just ruined.  Though...to be fair...I think the movie ruined the books even if you had read them first.



Maybe the key is to read the book first sometimes?  Or maybe read the book first, but read it WAY before the movie comes out so I don't spend the whole time going THAT DID NOT HAPPEN LIKE THAT, HEY WHY DID YOU CUT THAT OUT, THAT WAS SO CHEESY, YOU RUINED MY BOOK!!!

Of the movies immediately coming out, I have read The Maze Runner and The Fault in Our Stars.  Like I said earlier, I have not read If I Stay.

So what should I do?  Should I read the book first?  What do you do?  Are you completely disappointed in the movies like I am?  Are there any movies you've liked better than the book?


Thanks fellow book stressers!


I await your advice :D


20 comments:

  1. Hehe for me this is no obstacle. I always read the book first. If I haven't then I wait to read the movie. But I like it best when I've read the book like a year ago or something, and then I see the film. That's what it was like with Percy Jackson, Twilight, City of Bones and Divergent for me. So then you don't always remember every little thing they cut.

    Patience is not my best virtue though. I never intentionally wait a year or something. xD

    I can't wait for the maze runner!

    Also, to read the book or movie first? It really depends on the person themselves. But I vote book first ^^

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    1. I think you're right about the reading, then waiting, then watching. That seems to make me the most satisfied.

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  2. I....don't know. For me, if a movie gets me interested in a book I will probably still like the movie better. But if I've read the book first AND the movie adaptation is good, then it doesn't really matter to me. The book can be good AND the movie can be good. I do tend to cut movies a lot of slack and don't usually get too upset about changes. There are a few exceptions to this, of course. But if you DO read the book, I suggest putting some time between reading it and seeing the movie. Having read If I Stay, I don't necessarily think you will miss anything if you don't read the book first. But you would probably have a deeper connection with the main character because it is a very introspective book.

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    1. I try to cut movies slack, but I just get SO MAD! hahaha I want it to be perfect! :P

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  3. Yes, for me this is a total no brainer - simply must, MUST read the book first. Even if that means having to put off seeing the movie.

    The magic of reading the book, is diminished for me if I've already seen the movie - I love to delve into a book knowing very little about its contents .... I love the surprise, the discovery. Seeing the movie first would totally wreck that.

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    1. So does reading the book first diminish the movie, since you're not discovering it for the first time?

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  4. It has gone both ways for me, so it's up to you.

    I did read If I Stay when it first came out and I really liked it. Most recently I read Where She Went and I liked it even better than the first book. From the previous it seems like this might be a case of "the movie is better than the book".

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    1. Oh, my mom liked If I Stay better, so that's interesting. I know I need to read these books!!

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  5. Read the book, almost always. Sometimes, though, I have zero intentions of reading the book (Game of Thrones for example) and I'll just let myself go into the movie/show blind :)

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    1. That's so true. Actually, that might be where I end up with this one. Since I'm not a huge contemp fan anyway, maybe the movie will be enough? I really liked the Perks of Being a Wallflower movie, and I've still not read that one.

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  6. I usually always read the book, but for Vampire Diaries I just couldn't finish the book in time and saw the movie anyway. I actually liked the ending better because I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen—it was actually nice not knowing. Like you, I haven’t read If I Stay ( I have no idea what it’s even about), but I feel like with a small contemporary novel it’s safe to go in not reading it and you won’t be confused, it’s not like it’s high fantasy. That said, I will probably read the book because well, it is on the shelf !

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    1. That's so true, high fantasy is just so much more detailed!

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  7. If I watch the movie first, I'm not going to read the book. So I'll read the book first - unless I'm not planning to read it at all.

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    1. That's true! Sometimes, when I'm not really sure if I want to read the book, I'm actually glad there's a movie, so I can just watch it and not feel left out anymore. Haha.

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  8. I like to watch the movie first. Of course, this usually only happens if the movie is coming out soon and I haven't already read the book yet. That's when I can make the decision of whether or not I read the book first.

    But I'm like you. If I watch the movie first, I'll really like the movie. Then I'll read the book and LOVE the book. So I have positive thoughts about both of them.

    If I read the book first, I'll LOVE the book, then watch the movie and be disappointed.

    Because let's face it, the book is always better (like 99% of the time).

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  9. Unfortunately, I have no advice, but I can only just sympathize. There are only a few movie adaptations where I read the book first and still enjoyed the movie. I will never forget how pissed I was with the first Harry Potter movie. I was a huge book fan and then the movie was such a disappointment. You mean, you didn't include x? What about y? It was bad. But I understand the constraints movies are under. So I basically just have to separate the two mediums in my head and see them as completely separate stories. The book is good. The movie is good. Comparing the two, one will always lose.

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    1. UGH! I know you're right, but it's just SO HARD!! Why can't they just both be perfect??? haha

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  10. I can't say. If I've read the book and watched the film then I'm the first one to say READ THE BOOK! IT WAS WAY BETTER! But that's if I've done both. Sometimes I don't even watch the film.
    I've read more books before their adaptations and most aren't as good as the books. Surprise. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Lord of the Rings but I have yet to read the books. Yes I know, it's shameful. I can't call myself a true fan without reading the books too.
    The only films I can think of that did a good job are Memoirs of a Geisha and Life of Pi. Both are great as books, in the case of Life of Pi the book more so because there's so much thinking the MC is doing that could not be put as dialogue in the film (because it wouldn't work). I watched Life of Pi before reading the book, that was the first time I did that and I didn't mind it so much. It actually helped me visualise how he was in the boat (it's size and all) when I was reading it. Memoirs of a Geisha did well for the story, it stayed true to it and it's beautiful to watch too.
    I refuse to watch The Book Thief until I've read it, because God knows I've had that book on my shelf since forever. I'll be damned if I give in to the film first.

    - Shepa

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    1. The Lord of the Rings movies are just SO much better. I just saw TFiOs and it was awesome!!! :D

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