Sunday, January 15, 2012

Book or Movie First?

My absolute favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

I read that book at least once every year.  My copy is falling apart, I have read it so much.  And I must say that I also enjoy the black and white movie version of the book. It follows the book very closely.  But not all movies do. So I want to bring up that old argument, is it better to read the book first and then watch the movie or vice versa?

Several years ago, I read the book Holes by Louis Sachar and really enjoyed it.  It was one of the best books I had read in a while.  Then the movie came out. I have to say that the movie followed the book fairly well and didn't disappoint.  Because of that I don't think it would have mattered much if I had read the book first or not. But this is not always the case.


Confessions of a Shopaholic was kind of the opposite experience.  One summer I really got into reading Sophie Kinsella and read all of her Shopaholic books.  This was the year before the movie came out.  In fact, I didn't even know there were plans for a movie based on the book when I was reading her books.  The movie grouped several of the books together, I guess to make it long enough, but in doing so, the movie left off parts that were in the books.  Disappointing. So maybe it is better to watch the movie before reading the book so you won't be disappointed.  Unless you're like me and read the books before you even know that there is a movie coming out for the book.  What's a book bug to do?

That same summer I decided to read the Divine Secrets of the YA-YA Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells. Aparently, this was the summer I was obsessed with Chic Lit.  I had actually watched the movie way before I knew it was based on a book .  In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admint that I like just about any movie with Sandra Bullock, so I might have been a little bit swayed by the fact that she was starred in the movie, but I really enjoyed the movie. I have to say that the book was not a disappointment either.  I felt that the movie stuck to the storyline well and I was pleasantly pleased with my movie first, then book experience.  Perhaps this was just luck, though, or the fact that the movie had good writers and directors.  Whatever the reason, I still stand in the book first camp.

Over the Thanksgiving break last year, I decided to read the Hunger Games triology by Suzanne Collins.  It took me awhile to get on the Hunger Games bandwagon even though the books came over a year ago.  Maybe I was a little afraid to read such a popular book because of the whole Shopaholic book/movie experience, but I also just didn't think the books would be that great.  I mean, the premise is kind of gruesome...televised "games" that pit kids against each other fighting to the death for the amusement of the rest of the country?  But I have to say, those were some of the best books I have read in a very long time.  I cannot wait for the movie that comes out on March 23.  I just hope it doesn't disappoint because the books were A.W.E.S.O.M.E.!!!


Since I enjoyed reading so much over Thanksgiving, I decided to read some more over the Christmas break and settled on The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  I actually received the DVD for Christmas, but since I subscribe to the read the book first theory I didn't want to watch the movie until I had read the book.  My sweet husband bought me the book for my birthday so I read it over the break and then watched the movie.  I have to say that I am glad I read the book first.  There were little things in the movie that I would not have picked up on if I hadn't read the book first.  And the movie left out large parts that the book covered so I don't think I would have gotten as much out of the movie if I had not read the book.  There were parts of the movie that I thought were better portrayed than in the book, but for the most part, I think the book was better.  In fact, I am surprised that the movie has won so many awards.  But then, I am a book bug.


Book first or movie first, in the end, I would recommend that you do both, no matter what your order preference is.

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