General Question

lapilofu's avatar

Do you think that books are more valuable than movies and TV shows?

Asked by lapilofu (4310 points ) October 27th, 2008
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29 Answers

aneedleinthehayy's avatar

Valuable how?
If you mean like posession-wise, then I don’t know.
But if you mean like, to be cherished, then no. I think TV and movies are just as fulfilling as books. It just depends on what you watch.

lapilofu's avatar

I don’t mean monetarily. I mean, do you personally value books more?

aidje's avatar

It really depends on the specific book, movie, or TV show in question. I place Firefly and The Fountain right up there with some of my favorite books.

boxing's avatar

Some people like reading books more than watching TVs or movies. I don’t have a preference.

Snoopy's avatar

books, TV and movies are all forms of communication via a different media/medium.

There are fantastic and moving examples of TV, movies and books.
There are also equally useless examples of TV, movies and books.

I respect and value the content….no matter how the message is conveyed.

Hobbes's avatar

I agree with everyone else that it depends on what you watch, however the physical book itself has a lot of sentimental value to me. I like being in a room with a lot of books, and I enjoy handling and owning books as objects more than I do a DVD.

Malakai's avatar

Yes. I personally do.

I don’t mean to imply that books somehow have more intrinsic value or merit than other mediums. I simply think they are unlike television or movies because all of the “visuals” don’t come from the supply side, they come largely from the user’s own imagination.

Books ask a little more from YOU to tell a story.

cyndyh's avatar

There are movies and TV shows that I really enjoy, but there’s a lot more to choose from when it comes to books. Also, as Malakai suggests above, books are far more interactive.

susanc's avatar

Sometimes my brain can’t handle anything more complex than CSI:Miami with all those
glorious expanses of glass and water and stupid David Caruso leaning over people to get snippy. Other times I can sit for hours with Naomi Klein, get all enraged, and write letters to the editor. It all depends on my level of tiredness. All media can make me cry if they’re brilliant.

greylady's avatar

Books are far more valuable to me than movies. I don’t watch tv and haven’t for about 8 yrs, because it became an invaluable waste of my time. I have never seen a movie that I liked better than the book it came from. I agree with Malakai, that the books require imagination and maybe more work from the reader, but my imagination is fine and healthy, and stays agile from the practice it gets.

MacBean's avatar

I don’t value books, movies or TV shows more than any of the others. But I think I value them differently.

Spargett's avatar

Both are equally valuable.

Both are equally capable of creating utter shit, as well as useful enriching content.

The message remains the same throughout any median.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I think you can absorb more out of a book than you would normally from television or movies. A book, in a lot of cases, is much more detailed and inviting and you can lose yourself in it as opposed to watching and interpreting scenes on a television or movie screen.

You can also enjoy a book for a longer time period and get more pleasure out of it also instead of the movie or television experience which is typically over in anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours.

I’m a HUGE fan of books and I read like there is no tomorrow so my answer is probably pretty biased. But I’m sticking with it!

asmonet's avatar

God yes, books and music are my boyfriends. It’s complicated.

deaddolly's avatar

i like all – equally. i don’t read as much as I used to, so for me, right now, TV and movies rank higher. If given the choice of a book or movie, I’d take the visual.

shadling21's avatar

All forms of media are valuable for different reasons.

As an film student, I often find movies to be just as engaging and rewarding as books. With books, I sometimes find it difficult to get past the language being used, but it’s a challenge that is worth facing. Once I’m in “reader mode”, my mind feels more alive than ever, conjuring images out of abstract words.

With film, it’s sort of the opposite. We watch the images and hear the words- it’s finding the abstract connections that is the challenge. I can easily be “moved” by a film, but it’s when you begin to look at why I was moved that I learn more about myself and the world around me.

science_girl89's avatar

Absolutely, our society needs books! They constitute the background of our culture. Look at the wealth of knowledge that has spread since Guttenberg! The spread of information is fundamental to education, and research, fundamental to every single important decision of our lives. Also, don’t overlook that from a technological aspect we still need books. Yes, we do have ‘e-books’, yes the kindle project of amazon.com is gaining ground and should be supported. Are the networks with in which we gather information changing, definitely yes! However, as a medium there is nothing the human species have come along with (as an invention not as an extension of behavior) that has endured or been as successful as a well-written book.

augustlan's avatar

I personally value books more than almost any other item in my possession. I love everything about them…from the language and the story to the dog-eared pages and the broken spines. I don’t think I could live without them.

shrubbery's avatar

I don’t escape into the TV or movie screen. Books can suck me in and I can be a part of that world for a little while. That just doesn’t happen for me with movies. Hence I value books more.

fireside's avatar

Well, being a video major, I’d say I have a bias.
I can fall into the screen just as easily as any book.

I guess the main difference is that when i am watching something on the screen, in addition to the story itself, I am also noticing the lighting, the choice of shot selection, the pace of the editing, the movement of the characters through the screen, etc…

In terms of value, I’d say that they are fairly equal. Books have been of tremendous importance in passing along themes through the ages and that makes them extremely valuable. But for today’s audiences, most people are going to get a message through the screen, so you can’t discount that importance.

xlibrispublishing's avatar

Yes. I think books do more for us than TV and movies do. For one, reading books involves not only the eyes, it also involves the mind. Reading books increase vocabulary and comprehension and stimulate the imagination to critical thinking.

MacBean's avatar

reading books involves not only the eyes, it also involves the mind.

So does watching movies, if you’re doing it right.

Rsam's avatar

Precisley what MacBean has said.

Western Society has long had a “document fetish”, and so since elementary education were largely only trained in how to analyze books to the same degree as film and screen work. Books, of course, also have a couple millenia head start on celluloid, and so its not surprising that we haven’t yet come to appreciate the latter for its ability to spark the same curiosity and creativity as Books.

…....and all this from a literature major.

fireside's avatar

A document fetish?

Sounds like nerd porn… : P

I think earlier cultures has a document fetish too, it’s just that was can’t carry around stone tablets in a very efficient way.

TexasDude's avatar

Personally, I value books more than movies and TV shows, just because they appeal to me more, but it’s impossible to determine objectively the value or importance of one artistic medium over another.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Books are what I immerse myself in. I read, collect, accumulate them. There is no comparison, IMHO, between books and film or television. If a film version is made of a book that I love, I refuse to see it. I’ve been disappointed so many times and have had to dive back into the book to console myself and re-establish my mental image of the story and characters.

Rsam's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land

Your problem in not appreciating the film to book transfer may not have much to do with film. It is, as i have often observed, your faulty assumption that when you go into the theater, buddies basement, living room, whatever, that what you’ll experience on screen will be the same as what you experienced in the book. Ludicrous! Film and Book are obviously two different mediums that accomplish their goals in two very different ways. thus, when you go to see the film version, you cannot simply check it for accuracy against the book as a critical tool. You have to understand what its doing with the story in its own right Of course there isnt going to be as many details! why would you expect that?? And of course all those interior monologues are going to be curtailed! this is FILM!

MacBean's avatar

@Rsam: I wish I could give you more than one GA for that. As an avid reader and a filim buff, it annoys me to no end when people expect a film adaptation to be exactly like the book.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Rsam I understand where you’re coming from. Many (most?) operas have the same basis. Great answer. It’s just a personal thing with me, I don’t object to making films from books, I just want nothing to do with it.My “love affair” with many books is too intense, seeing anothers visual interpretation of it is just too disturbing to me.

Once in a great while, one will come along that matches my “interior vision” of the book (like the film version of Dune). But I’ve been disappointed so many times that now I automatically avoid any film version of books I love.

It’s not the details, but the whole “feel” of the film usually violates my images. I’ve been told that “Lord of the Rings” is good but haven’t made up my mind to see them yet.

I’m a reader who could (and mostly does) live without film or television. I don’t need all the visual stimuli. That’s just my individual quirk.

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