Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Which Comes First for You? The Book or the Movie?

Over the last couple of weeks I finally saw two movies I'd been meaning to see for awhile: Silver Linings Playbook and Cloud Atlas. Three weeks ago (or so), I finally saw The Hobbit. (Are you sensing a pattern here? I tend to fall behind on my movie watching and rarely get out to see movies in the theater).

At any rate, it occurred to me that all of those movies had been based on books. And while I'd read The Hobbit years ago, I haven't yet read Cloud Atlas or The Silver Linings Playbook. Now, having seen the movies, I'm ready to check out the books.

So what's your preference? Do you prefer to read the book and then see the movie (which may change things, add things. alter or eliminate characters and certainly won't include everything in the book)? Or...do you see the movie and then read the book (in which case, your vision of what's going on and how things appear may be influenced by what you saw on the screen)?

For me, I think it varies. If it's a love story (Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice), I definitely want to read the book first. That rarely spoils the movie for me (I could watch the many versions of Pride and Prejudice over and over), but some movie interpretations of love stories would leave me less inclined to read the books, meaning that I would have missed out on a lot of wonderful books (i.e., if I don't fall in love with the movie hero for whatever reason, I'm then nervous about meeting that same hero--possibly a wonderful hero--in book form). So yes, if it's a love story, definitely book first.

But in some cases, outside of romance, I almost need the movie to pique my interest. In such cases, I consider that a bonus. I get to see a good movie and that leads me to a great book and broadens my reading horizons.

Update: Here's a link to the website Lists of Bests with Books that have been made into movies. 


Mary Preston said...

Some movies make me want to go & read the book - THE HELP did this - loved both. Mostly though I prefer to read the book first. Sometimes, as with THE HOBBIT, I do a re-read before I go to see the movie.

Laney4 said...

I rarely watch movies, so it's a moot point for me. Mind you, I DID read Jane Porter's FLIRTING WITH FORTY after the movie came out, yet I never saw the movie. Heard it was good, though! I am curious ... but not curious enough to see the movie....

Myrna Mackenzie said...

Mary, I wish I had re-read The Hobbit before seeing the movie. I had forgotten so much.

Myrna Mackenzie said...

Elaine, I love, love, love movies, but I concede that the fact that we don't all have the same interests is part of what makes life so interesting. So the fact that you are not only a book first, but a book only (with no movie at all) is something I find intriguing.

Myrna Mackenzie said...

Trying to think of other examples...I watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, then went out and read the entire series. Likewise Harry Potter (I must have been the last person on earth to read the books but I read them all in one fell swoop). I'm holding off on watching Game of Thrones (sure, that will be a marathon) because I want to read the books first and, of course, the series hasn't been finished.

On the other hand, I read Marly and Me, One for the Money, The Boyfriend School (a wonderful and fun 1989 book by Sarah Bird), and The Time Traveler's Wife, but never saw any of those movies.

I suppose this could go on and on, because I just thought of several other books where I read the book and then did go to see the movie and was pleasantly surprised that the movie met expectations (About a Boy, Bridget Jones, several works by Charles Dickens), but that would be a very long comment and this one has probably gone on long enough.