Dec 17, 2012

Posted by in Question | 8 Comments

Question – Do You Read The Book Before Watching The Movie?

Harry Potter 1 twilight

I know a few people that, if they come across a movie trailer for an upcoming film that looks good to them and they find out that it is based on a book, they will immediately go out and buy the book because they refuse to see the movie without first having read the book.

Me?  Not so much.  I am very picky with the genre of book that I read.  I don’t like books that are too emotionally heavy.  So I am in no way going to go pick up The Time Traveller’s Wife or some other really emotional sappy read (even though I am sure they are excellent books, they are just not for me) just because it is now a movie.

The only books that I have ever read before watching the movie are the Harry Potter books (in fact, the first movie got me interested in trying the books) and the Twilight books (New Moon on, again because the Twilight movie got me interested in reading the rest of the series).  I find you can’t help saying “Oh, this is not like the book!” or “Oh, this is not in the book!” or “Oh, this is exactly like in the book!” while you’re watching the movie based on a book you’ve read.  Sometimes, it’s nice to just sit and enjoy a movie without comparisons running through your head.  I do find that the book is usually better than the movie because our imaginations give us so much more than any Hollywood director ever can.  But it is nice to see a movie maker’s perspective in things…sometimes.

So my answer to this Question would be no.  I will not go out and read the book before watching the movie.  But a few times a movie has caused me to want to see what happens next and I then buy the books.

How about you…  Do you read the book before watching the movie?

  1. No, not on purpose anyhow. I’d read the Twilight books before there was talk of a movie and I started the Harry Potter books before the movies too. Sometimes seeing a movie based on a book will make me want to read the book after, but not the other way around.

  2. I’m with you on the Twilight books, Julie. The first time I saw the trailer for Twilight, it peaked my interest, so I ran out immediately and purchased the books. That scenario is pretty rare though (in fact, I think that’s the only time it’s happened).

    I’m incredibly genre selective. Until recently, I would only read novels with fantasy or science fiction elements. Now I’ve expanded that to include books that have romantic elements in a contemporary setting. If a book doesn’t have one of these elements, I really can’t force myself to read it. And lately I’ve been heavily leaning towards reading mostly female authors.

    That being said, I will absolutely re-read The Host before the movie releases.

  3. My answer is sometimes.
    I read the Harry Potter books first and then saw the movie. I think this is one of the few times that they did a great job.
    I loved P&P by Jane Austen but I have only seen the movie and I have not read the book.
    In regards to Twilight; I have the 4 books but I havent read them yet. I have seen the movies. Really only the last movie was worth seeing. I have no idea what the books are like.
    I have only ever seen LoTR movies and not the books. The movies were outstanding.

    So long and short, I don’t really have a hard and fast rule. I rarely ever hear anyone say, “Oh the movie was so much better than the book.” (is that even possible LOL)

  4. The easy answer for me is, sometimes.

    But it all depends on the genre. If it’s is a type of book I would enjoy reading, and the book(s) have gotten a lot of acclaim, I definitely want to read the book first.

    The book is usually better, and if I really want to enjoy the suspense of a good story, I prefer to enjoy it in my favorite medium-books. Of course, this often spoils the movie, but I’d rather the movie be spoiled than the book.

  5. It doesn’t really matter to me. I’ve often seen the movie first. Sometimes it works well and sometimes it disappoints me. I tried to read Wuthering Heights for a while before I finally watched the movie and that’s the only way I ended up finishing the book. On the other hand, I saw The Painted Veil before I read the book and I was very disappointed by the book.

  6. I don’t read a book because I watch a movie but I can see a movie after reading a book. I think it’s too difficult to do that otherwise.

  7. Michele – I’m with you 🙂

    Jessica – The Host…you mentioned being genre selective, that is my reason for not having read that book lol

    Michelle – I agree with you about the HP movies – they did a great job!

    Danielle – I find the amount of buzz the book got/gets plays a role, for sure. Good point.

    Laura – It would suck if the movie was better than the book lol

    melliane – Agreed. I find it hard to fully use your imagination and get the full reading experience if you already have the visuals and the director’s take on things from having watched the movie. But sometimes the director gets it very right (as in the Harry Potter movies) that it doesn’t mess things up too badly. lol

  8. I so agree with Laura on wuthering heights! I am more of a movie or a book person. It is one or the other not both. I am usually dissapointed with the movie if I read the book so I rarely do both. The image in my head is never the same as hollywood. My images are way better 🙂 And there are just some books that are hard to read because the author describes details way too much, the voice is not quite right or the style of language is hard to understand so the movie is better. I love the star wars movies but i never felt the need to pick up the book.

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