Books VS Movies

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Everyone has their own opinions when it comes to choosing between the two. So, today, I have two random questions for everyone regarding the topic.

1. Which suits you best?
a. Read the book first, and then watch the movie
b. Watch the movie, and then read the book
c. Doesn't matter either way.

2. Are there any movies that you thought were actually better than the book?

I wonder.

Personally, for the first question, I'd definitely answer letter A, always.
Don't get me wrong, I love movies. I personally would go crazy without them as well. To me, it's definitely another true form of art -- presented right in front of an audience for them to watch. All that's left to do is to think and to feel.
But there is just something extra special when I read the story first before seeing it come to life in a movie. To me, with reading, it always seems as if I am starting with a completely fresh slate. As I read, I am able to create my own version of the story and of the characters -- my own picture -- in my head. With reading, I feel as though I am only limited by my own creativity and imagination. Therefore, there are no limits.

As for question # 2, I definitely think there are very few movie adaptations that live up to the book. How much more, to be better? It's not often this happens. But once in a while, there's a movie every now and then that not only lives up to the book's "expectations" and standards, but even exceeds them. In my opinion, these are the just some of the very few ones that do just that. I'm sure there's more, but these are what automatically came to mind.
  • Schindler's List
  • Psycho
  • The Shining
  • Fight Club
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • The Notebook
  • Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory -1971
  • Shutter Island (movie was not better than the book, but I thought was as good)
I'd love to hear your thoughts! :)


  1. Book first, then movie, definitely. Did anyone see My Sister's Keeper and read the book? I only read it, but was surprised at how much the plots differed. Reading that was a traumatic experience for me. I just cried too much. No more Jodi Picoult for me!

  2. Typically I'm a book first, then movie kind of person. I try to keep an open mind, though, regarding film adaptations because what works in books sometimes doesn't work so well in films and I want to be able to appreciate the way that the story is told through two different forms of media.

    Also, for the second one I agree with some of the ones you have (Shutter Island, Fight Club, The Notebook). I'm blanking on ones that I'd add to the list, though!

  3. Books are always better than movies but sometimes I watch the 'movie only' if the book is not my usual genre. For instance, I'm not too interested in reading political thrillers but I enjoyed all the Tom Clancy movies... The Bourne movies were good but I don't feel the need to read the books.

    Don't think less of me but I only saw the movies of Shindler and notebook-- since books are always better.. due to the subject matter, I don't think I could bear to read the books. I'd be bawling like DeLynne!

    I was very pleased with the Lord of the Rings films... even though it distressed me when charming or fave bits of the books were left out. Same for the Jurassic Park movie.

    Has there ever been a movie better than the book? I'm not sure but I'd like to get some opinions on Forest Gump. Love the film. Tried to read the book but it seemed to lack the charm and beauty of the film so I didn't finish it.



  4. I like to watch the movie first. Otherwise the movie disappoints.

    I didn't like the Time Traveler's Wife but the film was slightly better.

    Cool questions and cool graphics :)

  5. I absolutely have to read the book before seeing the movie. I refuse to see it until I've read the book because I'm a spaz and don't want the book ruined lol.

  6. Book first, then movie. For just the reasons you cited. Of course, sometimes I've watched movies without realizing they were books first, and that changes things...

  7. I prefer reading the book first before watching the movie because I find it a bit difficult to finish a book if I already know how the story's gonna go. This is what happened to with Love in the Time of Cholera. I still haven't finished it even though I'm practically in love with Marquez' beautiful prose.

    As for the second question, I would think that The Godfather films are excellent adaptations of the original novel (even though I haven't read the novel yet). I thought the movie Atonement was good as well, although it can't compare with the book which I absolutely loved.

  8. @Delynne: As for My Sister's Keeper, like you, I was surprised with the book's ending. Didn't like it as much. I wish Picoult finished the book ten pages before it actually did. Haha.
    Maybe that's why I liked the movie better.

    @Ate Justine: ;) Yeah, I agree. Some just don't work well for movies as much as it does for the books. I always try to keep an open mind too. That's the only way anyone can appreciate something--anything--for what they are. Miss you!

    @Cozy Book Nook: I definitely agree with what you said about how sometimes, it depends on what the genre is. I also loved the Bourne movies, but probably will never read the books, just because it's not the kind I usually dive into. I do try to read every genre though.
    I also loved the LOTR movies. The books, are no doubt, "better." But imo, I found it a bit harder to understand it because of its 'Old English' writing.
    Also, with the Forest Gump comment, I agree again. Haha. I loved the book, but I loved the movie more. There was something extra charming about it. Also, maybe it's just Tom Hanks who made the difference.

    @Juju: Thanks for the comment! Glad you like the pics :) I enjoyed the Time Traveler's Wife movie, as I like the actress who played Clare Abshire. But, I have to admit, that is actually one of my favorite books :)

    @ds: There are actually a lot of instances where I didn't know the movies were based on books. It always surprises me when they show the credits.

    @Mark David: I find it difficult too, to finish a book when I know what's going to happen already. It's just different, isn't it?
    Oh, and I agree with The Godfather. Also, regarding Atonement, it's actually a bit odd because I don't think that the movie was better than the book. Truthfully though, the movie version is one of my favorites. The book, I thought, was amazing, but not exactly a favorite of mine. Weird how that happens.

  9. Interesting post! :) I do try to read the book first, but I am not always successful at doing so! :P I agree with the movies that you posted...most of them were at least as good as the book, if not better. I just saw Shutter Island last night! I haven't read the book, but plan to do so soon!

  10. I usually read the book and then watch the movie. There are times when I will watch a movie and then find out that it is based on a book and read the book (Where the Heart Is for example). I do tend to watch the movie first when it comes to classics. It is how I became hooked on Jane Austen.

    Usually I like the book more than the movie or I like them equally but there are times when the movie is actually more enjoyable. As much as I love The Lord of the Rings I like the films just a little more than the book (no Tom Bombadil is a good thing for me). Lorna Doone is another one where I liked the movie more-couldn't even finish the book.

    I found your blog through The Book Blog Hop.

  11. Great list! I fave you an award on my blog, so be sure to check it out!


  12. @Lily Child: Did you like Shutter Island, the movie? :)

    @Christina T: Thank you for visiting my blog! And I agree with you, though I think the LOTR books are technically better than the movies, as nothing will beat the original, I actually liked/preferred the movies more.

  13. Oh I think I get what you mean by Atonement. You must have loved something different about the movie that couldn't be appreciated very well with a book. Film is a different medium and so a different experience of it's own :)

  14. Another one that just crossed my mind after a discussion in another blog... Neil Gaiman's Stardust. I loved the movie more than I liked the book.

  15. @Mark David: I've never seen the movie version of 'Stardust.' I have read it though. I'll check it out when I can. Thanks for sharing! :)