Saturday, March 14, 2009

Movies verses Books

How many times have you gone to a movie only to be disappointed because it wasn't as good as the book? I see a fair amount of nodding going on. So what's the deal?

Well...we have two very different mediums. One difference I can see is books allow you to know the heroes' innermost thoughts and movies can only show those emotions. Is one better than the other? Maybe...let's explore the issue a little more.

Take for instance Lord of the Rings. My husband has read all of J.R.R.Tolkien's books and when the movies came out, he liked them, but he was forever saying, "That's not how it really happened." (As if the books were based on facts not fiction.) So was one better than the other? I loved the movies. They had something for everyone: romances, battles, a quest for good, the defeat of evil and heroes galore. Now that's entertainment! And think about this...many people may not have cared for Tolkien's writing style; therefore, they never read the books, but with the movies that world opened up bigger than life on the screen. This made more people take another look at the books.

How about Harry Potter movies verses the books? Millions of youth read J.K. Rawling's novels, not just once, but many times. Her style invited young readers into a world of make believe. When the movies debut the theaters were packed. Were those millions of readers disappointed with the movies? My youngest daughter, who has read each book at least five times, moans and groans throughout the movies while stating so-and-so's hair is not suppose to be that color? And on and on go the complaints, but would she miss the movie? NO! Does she go more than once? YES! She would definitely say the books are better than the movies...yet she goes to see those beloved characters come to life.

Many years ago, my oldest daughter, who was in sixth grade at the time, and I happened upon Ann of Green Gables on PBS one Sunday night. What a delight. We anxiously waited each week for the next installment. Ann, the main character, seemed to click with my daughter and a life-long love for Lucy Maud Montgomery's books goes on even today, though my daugher is now in her thirties.

So now let's take another look at the question: Are books better than movies? I think it depends upon the person. Plus we refer to each medium for a different reason.

With a book you are alone as you explore the world of a novel. It's just you and those characters. Your mind envisions each person and sees each scene as words spill forth and create a universe that is intimately yours and the written word. If you need to you can set the book down, tend to real-life than come back and again the adventure is yours to cherish.

With a movie chances are you're watching in a theater with hundreds of other people...yet somehow...despite the crowd you become absorbed into the story. Your fighting alongside hobbits, dueling with evil wizards or feeling the pain of an orphan girl. The visual experience suspends real-life for a couple of hours, and then it's over, yet a good movie lingers and calls you back to witness the story again and again. maybe there isn't an answer.

Let me know what you think.

Do you like books, movies or both?


  1. I believe it depends on the movie and the book. But most of the time, the book will beat the movie.

  2. Most of the time I'd agree with you, the book is usually better. However...I'm one of the rare people who liked Twilight the movie over the book. I know I'm odd person out on this, but I liked having the intrigue with the threat of the other "bad" vampires throughout. The book didn't get into that until towards the end. Thanks for chiming in, Libby!



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