Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Discussion Post: Do You Need to Read the Book Before Seeing the Movie?

Hi everyone. Wow, it has been awhile since I did a discussion post, or as I like to call it, My Thoughts Figuratively. But I have been mulling over this topic for awhile now after discussing it with CJ from Sarcasm and Lemons on Twitter. And with the movie adaptation of The Hate U Give coming out on Friday and my need for a post for the week I thought it was a good time to talk about this subject.

Movie adaptations of books are not a new concept, it's been happening ever since the dawn of Hollywood I'm sure. But today it feels like every movie that comes out is based on some book or another. And you know what, I am completely cool with that. There are a lot of really awesome books that have made amazing movies and plenty of books I wish would be made into movies or TV shows. And as readers we all have a tendency to want to read the book first. But is that actually a good idea?

How many times has your favorite book been made into a movie and you were just didn't like the adaptation? You felt like the completely changed the source material and it wasn't even the same story. I never read The Shining because the book seriously traumatized me but I know Stephen King notoriously loathed the movie for this reason. It's definitely a risk when you turn the rights over to a story and lose creative control. It's also just a completely different medium. Not to mention you often have an idea in your head of what a character looks like or acts like and if the movie adaptation doesn't live up to that it can be frustrating.

But there are also some benefits to having You can't always do in a movie what you can in a book. Being in a characters head is difficult unless you have a voiceover and there is often a lot of backstory that has to be cut because there is limited time. I have watched a lot of movies and TV shows where I had to explain to my friend what was happening and what it meant for the larger story. If that person had read the book beforehand they wouldn't be in that situation. Not to mention as bloggers, and people in general, we have a tendency to want to say that we liked something before it was cool and before it was popular some

But there are also benefits to not having read the books beforehand. Sometimes movies change things for the better. In my group of friends I was the only one who had read To All the Boys I Loved Before before seeing the movie. We all loved it so I was finally able to convince my friends to read the book. And it's not that they didn't like it but they absolutely preferred the movie, mostly because Noah Centineo's Peter K is way more likable but there were other reasons to. And for me, I absolutely am glad I saw the Lord of the Rings movies before reading the books. Tolkein is great and all but if he could go ahead and shorten everything that would be great. I really didn't need 300 pages of people walking around Middle Earth. And who cares about Tom Bombadill?

But the ability for a book to expand on the movie is actually a benefit to me. If you watch the movie first and you love the story you have something more that gives you background, deeper characterization, and additional storylines to explore and fall into. If you read the book first then you see the movie it will always be a truncated version which will possibly annoy you.

There is no hard and fast rule about whether you should read the book before you see the movie and don't let anyone pressure you into it. If you want to wait and read the book first go ahead and do that. If you want to see the movie and then read the book you should feel like you can do that as well. I think ultimately it is up to you.

Speaking of up to you, what are your thoughts? Do you have to read the book before you go see a movie or can you watch the movie first? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

1 comment:

  1. I try to read the book before I see the movie. It doesn’t always happen, especially with older books and movies. I saw the Psycho movie when I was a kid, but I just read the book a few weeks ago.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!