Monday, June 30, 2014

Just wait for the movie?

When your favorite book gets turned into a movie, you're first in line to buy tickets, right? What about just skipping the book and going straight to the movie? 

For book lovers, that might sound like craziness, but it's an approach plenty of people take. 

I was talking with one of my lovely readers, Nicole Marie, and she mentioned how she overheard a couple of ladies having a discussion while she was at work. It went something like this: 

Woman 1: I don't read much anymore. 

Woman 2: Why not? 

Woman 1: If it's a really good book, it'll just get made into a movie, so why bother? 

Woman 2: True. 

Really? Now, I know not everyone loves books as much as I do, but is the thought that a book might be made into a movie actually a good reason to give up on reading? 

Personally, I think there are a couple of problems with this reasoning.

First off, the book is ALWAYS better than the movie. There is so much that has to be left out in a movie adaptation. You lose character thoughts, vivid descriptions that do more than just tell you it's a forest, emotions and feelings you can't see the way you can feel them when you read, and so much more. In my opinion, the only movie that came close to being better than the book is "Catching Fire," and that was really only because I thought the book was a bit of a let down after Hunger Games, and the movie cut out a lot of the repetitive parts. 

Secondly, books last longer. In a movie, you get an hour and a half, two hours top, of entertainment. Books, you can lose yourself in for days. You become immersed in the character's lives and their world. You get inside their heads and experience the story with them. You just don't have the same experience with a movie. 

Thirdly, every good book is NOT going to be made into a movie. Some great books are simply too difficult to adapt to the movie screen. Others would be too expensive. Some, too controversial or explicit (though that seems to be less of an issue as time goes by). Some really good books will be made into movies, and us book lovers will be first in line for tickets, but plenty of so-so or outright lousy books will be made into movies right along with them because they would be a low cost venture, are easy to market, would be great competition for big time movies already on screen, or have the potential to be merchandised like crazy. 

Books are made into movies for all kinds of reasons. You're missing out on a lot of great literature if you expect Hollywood to tell you what the best stories are in today's market. 

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