9 Reasons Why I Read the Book First Before Watching the Movie

Reading has always been my favorite pastime. I’m happily content in the company of books. However, it’s June and I’ve only read eight — yes, eight! — books, the least for me in a span of six months.

For the past couple of years or so, I’ve noticed that a lot of books were adapted to movies — Hidden Figures, The Girl on the Train, Inferno, Me Before You, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas — just to name a few.Β  My friends and those who have been following my blog for some time now are aware how much I enjoy reading and that I’m not a big fan of watching flicks and how I almost always deride movie adaptations.

Then comes the great debate: read before watching OR watch before reading? Both, of course, are tactile experiences, it just depends greatly I guess on every individual’s personality but here’s why I choose the former:

BvsM

1. I get the whole plot.

I like reading the book first because I get to understand the whole plot. There were times when I first watched the movie and didn’t understand a thing about it. It didn’t make any sense to me when I watched it. I’m not sure if it’s because the movie was so bad or I just really didn’t understand. But when I read the book first, I get to know the backstory and all, the characters, etc. Reading the book first gives me a greater understanding of the movie.

2. I get to imagine and create the characters the way I want.

In books, I can imagine the characters the way I want to and one thing I like most when reading is the way I can relate with the characters, being able to somewhat read their minds or understand their action and create and have my own image of them before I see their movie versions.Β There are a lot of irrelevant things written in books but somehow, these things are actually the important things that give more life or make the characters more interesting for me.Β It’s these things that make us connect with them. And there’s nothing better than these connections that we get to create as we follow the character’s development and story. Whatever are relevant in the story are the only things we see in movies. There’s not enough backstories provided about the characters and very little information to grasp.

3. It develops my thinking/imagination.

When I read something totally new to me or a first from an author, it’s cool being left to my own imagination. Unlike when I watch the film first, I can’t help but remember the actors and actresses playing the parts and I don’t really like it. I like having my own version of the characters and the settings and then be either amazed or disappointed later when I watch the movie.

4. Movie adaptations are too modified.

Many movie adaptations are too modified. This probably ain’t a bad thing for many because it wouldn’t really matter anymore whichever you do first, read or watch. No spoiler threat since there are differences already between the book and the movie. But for a booklover like me, I don’t like it when movie adaptations are too altered specially the endings.

5. Be the insider.

I find it fun when I watch movies with my friends and they’re all contemplative and musing over what’s gonna happen next and there I am, the only one in the group who’ve read the book beforehand and I’m the one conveying information and they’re all like, “Oh!” or “Aha!” Or “I see!” while I explain. πŸ˜‰

6. The real ending.

Most of the time, the endings are modified in movies (as I’ve mentioned in #4), well, I guess to fit a certain time frame or perhaps to leave the audience anticipating a sequel so being able to read the book first actually gives me a different conclusion as to why the movie ended or has to end that way.

7. Comprehensive Details

A well-written book provides comprehensive details of the plot, characters, settings, etc. It gives the reader the feeling like you are there in the book. It makes you feel like you’re experiencing what you’re reading. The way everything is described in detail is way more enjoyable. You wouldn’t miss a thing.

8. There’s more suspense.

Reading can be so intense that it gives me more suspense. Just when you thought you’re gonna find out the answer already, you’re wrong. It will still take you to another chapter or so before everything’s revealed. This intrigues me more thus makes me want to read more which results to sleepless nights. πŸ™‚ Unlike in movies that it would end rather quickly or the story just happened so fast (or too slow). Removing a lot of significant parts from the book to meet a specific time frame just lessens the suspense.

9. The book stays with you.

I love books — the cover, the pages, the smell of it. Apart from the story, the book itself offers a special connection with me, unlike movies. When I was younger, I remember our family renting and watching VHS tapes. I’ve enjoyed a few good, unforgettable movies then but there was no physical thing that leaves me connected with it. Unlike books, they can stay on my shelves for as long as they can. And I can get back to them anytime I want to.

~~~

How about you? Do you prefer reading the book first before watching the movie? Or is it the other way around? Please share your thoughts.

Enjoy the day, homo sapiens! 😊

*Image found on Google.
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Author: Just_Me :)

Basically a breathing, moving, eating and happy-go-lucky homo sapiens. Full-time daydreamer and part-time paranoid. I love reading, I love Roger Federer, I love food.

24 thoughts on “9 Reasons Why I Read the Book First Before Watching the Movie”

  1. I totally agree! The book should always be read first. Crucial momemts often wind up on the editing floor in order to meet the time constraints in the film world. I’m a retired a teacher. There were times in class where I’d have students read a few chapters and then I’d show them a few clips of the film and we’d discuss what was missing, what was made clearer for those who learn visually etc. 98% of the time students were able to understand why reading the novel first gave them a better understanding of the characters and the author’s theme.
    I very much enjoyed this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a very good idea to encourage students to read more! There is always so much more to learn from the book. Thanks very much for sharing and reading! I’m glad you enjoyed it, Ma’am! Thank you!😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yup, I agree! every book I’ve read that has a movie version, the book always is much better than the movie and I’m always like, “Good thing I read the book before I watched the movie”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hidden Figures fascinated me. The movie was actually on screen and out before the book! I loved what the author said in the afterword. “A story told in one medium has to be altered and adapted for another medium.’ That quoted, I much prefer a book. Hidden Figures, Chitty Chitty, The Princess Bride, and 101 Dalmatians (the animated one) were among the few good adaptations.
    Breathing words is a good way to live, seeing them come to life is often when one draws a dubious breath.

    Liked by 1 person

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