Read The Book Or Watch The Movie First

read the book or watch the movie firstRead The Book Or Watch The Movie First?

Episode #260

Read the book or watch the movie first? The difference of opinion can be surprising. Depending on the book or the movie the answers can vary. It depends on who you ask and for some, the answer may be, “I never gave it a thought!” In the past, I was what I considered a “purist,” if there was a book that a movie was created around I’d always go for the book first. However, I never read the entire trilogy of Lord of the Rings, yet I watched the entire series multiple times. In this podcast, I’ll explore the pros and cons of this debate and the best ideas for encouraging book and movie discussions with your children.

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Show Notes: Read the Book or Watch the Movie First?

Pros: For Reading the Book First

  1. Reading the book gives you an insight into the richness of the characters.
  2. When you read the book you know what some of the characters are thinking.
  3. Books contain a fuller plot line than the movie.
  4. Use your imagination to “see” the story in your head.
  5. Interpretation of the author’s motivation.
  6. You know the ending of the book before you watch the movie.

Cons: For Reading the Book First

  1. The movie never lives up to your expectations.
  2. We build up the characters in our mind and if we really like the book the movie always falls short.
  3. We will compare the book to the movie, often the book is better.
  4. If the book deviates from the movie we get upset.

Pros: For Watching the Movie First

  1. You know what the characters look like
  2. You understand the basis for the plot but it will be shorter
  3. You are drawn into the story with special effects and the music
  4. You can decide if you want to read the book.
  5. If you’ve read the book you have an idea about the plot of the movie.

Cons: For Watching the Movie First

  1. The characters are portrayed through dialogue only
  2. You see the character’s through other’s eyes
  3. The plot and the storyline is way shorter
  4. Much of the book is changed to fit into a rigid time allowance
  5. Often characters are changed or embellished to add suspense to the plot
  6. Sometimes new characters are introduced that are not in the original book

What do you think? Is it worth reading the book first or watching the movie? For me it depends. If the book is a classic I think reading the book first is a must. There is no way the movie can come close to the wonderful sense a book gives you of bonding with the characters, they are your friends (or enemies) and the movie tends to fall short. A book is a place of reference and truly they are two different entities. A book is the long version, captures the author’s intent and is the original story. The movie is an adaptation of the book, often produced with the permission of the author but not necessarily the consensus on how the book is portrayed. Does that mean I’ve never watched a movie first? No, I have to admit I watched the Lord of the Rings before I began reading the books — and I’m still not finished! Some books are meant to be read and savored…or parts skipped, but that doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying them.

Comparisons happen and rarely can I say a movie, is better than the book. If you think there are movies that are better please share those with me, I’d love to watch them!

 


 

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