Books vs. Movies: Which Side Are You On?

Which should come first—book or movie?

As a self-proclaimed bibliophile, you would think I’d always be on Team Book when it comes to the Book vs. Movie debate. But, of course, I’m deeply rebellious and, frankly, a bit lazy.

bookI wish I always had time and inclination (and uninterrupted couch time) to read the book first, but that just isn’t real life. Sometimes, I want to enjoy a good story more than I want to hold “intellectual superiority” over those who have only seen the movie.

This debate first occurred to me in the case of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I’ve seen the four-hour BBC version numerous times and absolutely adored the slightly overdramatic Kiera Knightly version. But even as a seasoned English major, I’d never cracked the actual novel. I know, I know, revoke my English-major membership card. I deserve it. *Hangs head in shame* I never got around to reading the book because I already knew the best parts of the plot. With thousands of other books to read, why choose one where I already know the ending?

However! I did read the timeless novel about five years ago and adored it. The book was definitely richer and more fulfilling, but the movies have their place too. Namely, when I’m surrounded by other women looking for an ice-cream-and-chick-flick night.

Last night, I invested my precious free time into 2018’s Little WomenI’ve also never read the Louisa May Alcott novel (shame, shame!), but I always love a sweet retelling. This one is a modern-day version with Lucas Grabeel (of High School Musical fame) as Laurie, which was kind of an odd pick. Beth March’s casting was spot on, however, as that role always makes me cry (a media-inspired rarity).

fyI also highly recommend the 2017 Masterpiece Little Women, which was simply delightful. And we can’t forget the 1994 version. You know, the one before Winona Ryder decided to become a klepto? Hmm, maybe I should check out that infamous novel?

In conclusion, I have a running internal debate in deciding which to accomplish first. If I read the book first, then the movie usually disappoints. If I watch the movie first, then the book will obviously add to it, but all of the good bits will be spoiled.

Sigh. It’s a total conundrum.

Do you prefer the book or the movie first? Got any examples of why you pick your favorite side?

Currently Reading:
First Comes Marriage: My Not-So-Typical American Love Story by Huda Al-Marashi – I can’t wait to tell you all about this!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling – This series has been my constant audiobook companion for well over a year, I’d say.

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Published by Christine Boatwright

3 thoughts on “Books vs. Movies: Which Side Are You On?

  1. I fall in the same boat as you; enjoying the story as a movie versus the desire to sit and read the book. Current conundrum: started watching “Outlander,” since my mom was; except she’s read the books. I’m still trying to get through the first one because I don’t have half an hour or more of uninterrupted time (something I’d like to work on seriously this year, on top of other self improvements). I did the same as you, watched the “Pride and Prejudice” movie before reading the book. Same as “Jane Eyre,” though that was partly done to determine if I’d *want* to read the book (after the disaster of watching “Anna Karena”, that’s three hours of my life I’ll never get back; I’m also a horrible English major and have not read many “classic” lit books….because I spend my time as a fangirl and read fanfiction instead, lol). I picked up “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” after I had already seen “Fellowship” and “Two Towers,” and was surprised that the attack in the second movie was not in the book. But I have come to love Tolkien and his genius. Now, I read the “Harry Potter” books before they were movies. I read “Da Vinci Code” before it was a movie. I read “Mists of Avalon,” and enjoy both, but miss some of the details from the books.

    I guess if I had to pick a side, maybe movie before book; I have found that it helps establish the plotline so you better understand what’s going on and can put things in perspective, though I am positive that does not hold for every case (depending on how well the book is adapted).

    Liked by 1 person

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