What is your opinion? Which one is better? Some people would say that the movie is better than the book. Personally I would look at that person and say I don’t believe that you actually read the book. As an avid reader and lover of books I will always 100% say that the book was better than the movie. I honestly can’t think of one instance where I enjoyed the movie more than I enjoyed the book. Were there movies that I thought lived up to my expectations? Sure. But they have never done a movie so well that I thought it was better than the book. I will say that I am also one of those people that will not see a movie until I have read the book. For example, I have yet to read Wonder, yes it’s out in theaters and I want to see the movie so very badly….but I will not see it until I’ve read the book. I also will not put down the book I am currently reading to start reading it. I just can’t do it.
Okay enough rambling…here are my 8 reasons why the book is always better than the movie.
1. Books are portable and timeless.
Now you’re probably thinking well duh. But I’m one of those people that always has a book on them, like there’s a book in my purse right now. Do I always have time to read it? Nope. Actually I usually don’t have time to read it. But that’s okay. Think about it when you own a movie how many times do you watch it? Once or twice a year depending on what the movie is. It only takes you a few hours to actually watch the movie and then its done and over with. Eventually it could even become broken, scratched or just be outdated. With a book it can sit on your shelf and collect dust for years but it will never be broken. It will always be there. Personally I feel like I have more of an emotional connection to my books. I’m not the type of person that can throw away a book.
2. Movies Have Time Limits…Books Don’t Have Page Limits
Could you imagine if an author was told that they could only write a book if it was under 200 pages?? Imagine all of the amazing details that would be left out! When you hold a book in your hands your lucky enough to have the whole story in hundreds, sometimes even thousands of pages. That to me is amazing! Movies however have a limited time frame, usually about two hours (or just over that). With a two hour time limit there is absolutely no way to get every little tiny detail into it (unless they decide to make it a two part movie…but you can’t do that for every book to movie adaptation). Because of this, you are often left with important events or details of the book being left out in the movie in order to fit that time limit. In my opinion, if you just watch the movie you’re doing yourself a disservice because you’re not getting the full story….just the condensed version.
3. You Can Experience a Book at Your Own Pace
Have you ever been watching a movie and thought that it was too much to handle all at once? Too many emotions being thrown at you? Maybe you need some time to contemplate what’s happening, some time to process it. Well with a movie sure you could pause it (if you’re at home) and come back to it at a later time, but what’s the point in that? Now think about all of the times you’ve been reading a book and you’ve thought to yourself “I need a minute to process this”. I know personally I’ve done that several times, I can think of probably a dozen books that I’ve been reading and I needed to put it down. Sometimes I need to put it down for a day, sometimes I need to put it down for a week, it just depends on what is happening. With a movie you can’t do that, if you did, it just wouldn’t make sense. With a book it’s a lot easier to put it down and pick it back up and still have a sense of what’s going on in the story once you do.
4. You Get to Experience it as the Author Originally Intended
Now sure when you’re reading a book you can obviously have a different take on certain messages than the author might have intended, but for the most part when you’re reading a book you experience everything just as they would have wanted you to. There are no Hollywood agendas, no screenwriter changes being made. Sure maybe the publishing companies made a few changes here and there, but it’s still the majority of the authors work. Have you ever read a book and then heard it’s being turned into a movie and been so excited to see it for it only to be completely butchered and destroyed by Hollywood? Yeah…me too and that is one of the most disappointing feelings in the world. I’ve learned my lesson several times so honestly I try not to get my hopes up when it comes to movie adaptations.
5. You Get A One Way Ticket into the Characters Thoughts
When you’re reading a book you tend to get more character development and you often get to experience what the characters are actually thinking and feeling. When it comes to the movie there are certain things you have to rely on in order to experience this. The characters must actually tell you what they are thinking or feeling and you have to be able to pick up on the subtext from the performance of the actor or actress. If the actor or actress is actually decent in character then you can easily pick up on those hints but there have been plenty of times where I’ve seen actors or actresses that were not fit for a character and it’s disappointing when you know what you should be seeing or what kind of vibe you should be getting from these characters and you’re missing it because the acting isn’t all that great. You also have to remember that there are certain emotions that can’t be seen just by looking at someone and if the movie doesn’t have a narrator explaining every tiny little detail (personally that would annoy me) then you’re going to miss certain things.
Which leads me to my next point…really I could’ve connected the two but I liked having 8 reasons instead of 7 and I couldn’t think of another reason to replace it with so there ya go!
6. You Get to Know the Character Better
Just like I mentioned above, a book allows you to experience so much more with each character. The character development and background story in a book vs. a movie is much more detailed. You’re spending so much more time with them in the book than you are in the movie. There have been times I’ve read a book and there have been several chapters dedicated to one particular character. Could you imagine if they added that kind of detail into a movie? Depending on the details and the length of the chapters that could easily become half of the movie. One of my favorite part of reading a book is learning the backstory of a character and experiencing every little detail of their development.
7. You Get to Imagine the Characters for Yourself
I love picturing what a character would look like in real life. Of course when you’re done reading the book and you see the final casting list you can often times be disappointed (when they casted Kristen Stewart as Bella in Twilight I was heart broken) but on occasion they get it right and I am over the moon (when they casted Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in Hunger Games)! Now don’t get me wrong I think Kristen Stewart looked the part….but her acting skills in the first movie just drove me nuts, but that’s beside the point! As you read, you keep your imagination fresh and alive. I love when I can sit with a book in my lap and just get lost in the story, it’s like I’ve been transported from my room into this new world. It’s the most magical thing ever to be able to imagine the story and watch it unfold inside your head. This is why I love reading so much.
8. A Book Stays With You Forever
I’m sure if you’re an avid reader like I am then you can probably remember the book that made you fall in love with reading right? I know I can. To Kill A Mockingbird. I read it in 7th grade with my language arts teacher and it was immediately my favorite book. I’ve loved it ever since and it will forever be my favorite classic. I honestly believe that it is a book that will never get old. I’m 25 years old now and I still love that book just as much if not more than I did the first time I read it. I also believe that everyone should read it at least once. It’s just that good of a book. If that doesn’t sum up what I mean about “a book stays with you forever” then I don’t know what will. I mean to be completely honest if you ask me about any of the 80+ books I’ve read in my lifetime then I could probably give you a pretty good summary of it and tell you what I liked or maybe didn’t like about it. Let me tell you, 80 books is a lot of books. But when you read something it sticks with you longer.
Okay so I may or may not have a bonus reason for you! The only reason I even thought of it is because I happened to be talking to a colleague about the show Gilmore Girls and if you’ve ever seen that show then you know that Rory Gilmore loves her books. There’s one episode in particular where Rory is showing someone around her college and she takes her into the library and tells her to “smell the books”. I honestly never would’ve thought about it until I heard her say it but books have a very distinct smell and let me tell you it’s a glorious one. If you live in Columbus Ohio and you’ve ever visited The Book Loft in German Village then you know what I’m talking about…or maybe you don’t and I think I’m nuts! But I feel like The Book Loft has that amazing “book” smell and I love it. There’s a comforting feeling when it comes to the smell of a book and if you add a cup of coffee or hot tea to go along with it, I’m in heaven.
Are you a book or a movie person?? Do you love the smell of books as much as I do or do you think I’m insane?!? Let me know in the comments below!