General Question

The_Inquisitor's avatar

Would you rather watch the movie, or read the book?

Asked by The_Inquisitor (3163points) January 23rd, 2009

For Example—> Numerous people who read the book Twilight, tend to say that the movie was pretty lame, or just that comparing the book to the movie, the book was WAYY better.

What would you rather do? Watch the movie first and be impressed, or read the book, and then watch the movie and be disapointed?

I myself, would rather watch it first than read it. Although i have not read it yet, i plan to. My sister on the other hand, says that she would rather just read the book and not watch the movie at all. >_>

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48 Answers

nocountry2's avatar

The book is always better. Maximize your entertainment time and watch the movie first.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I can’t remember all the times I saw a movie after I read the book it was based on and ended up disappointed in the movie.

I’ve been an avid reader all my life so I’ll always have a more vested interest in a book than a movie. I’ve come to the conclusion that a movie is never going equal a book and it’s pretty much impossible to put everything that was into the book into the movie.

I can still enjoy both experiences, the book and movie, but my foremost choice will remain reading the book first, seeing the movie second even if it will end up disappointing me somewhat.

AstroChuck's avatar

Usually the book is better, but not always. Sometimes the movie is better.
Example- Planet Of The Apes was better as a movie (and completely different), as was Blade Runner (“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” was the book title).

augustlan's avatar

About the only movie I enjoyed as much (or close to as much) as the book was To Kill a Mockingbird. For me, I’d rather read the book first, and I’ll probably get around to seeing the movie anyway at some point. If I see the movie first, I may never get around to reading the book…especially if the movie sucked.

Oh, I just thought of a movie that was better than the book! The Bridges of Madison County. Great story, but the writing was pretty awful. The movie was quite a bit better, IMHO.

El_Cadejo's avatar

The book is pretty much always better. Im pretty much the same as bluefreedom as in ill read the book bu still watch the movie anyway knowing ill be disappointed. Always read the book first and then movie. You dont want that great ending spoiled by a possibly crappy movie do you?

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

If it started as a book, read the book first. If it started as a movie.. don’t even read the book. That’s me.

augustlan's avatar

As a side question, does anyone else hate it when a book that existed long before the movie version is re-released with cover art from the movie? I don’t know why this pisses me off so, but it does!

AstroChuck's avatar

@auggie- As good as the movie version of To Kill A Mockingbird was, it ignored most of the first half of the novel. Still, hard to go wrong with any Gregory Peck film.

aprilsimnel's avatar

book—->movie—->re-read book.

AstroChuck's avatar

Oh yeah. The Godfather was a better film than novel.

AstroChuck's avatar

As was Deep Throat.

augustlan's avatar

@AstroChuck Agreed, on Mockingbird and Godfather.

AstroChuck's avatar

But not Deep Throat?

AstroChuck's avatar

What about Behind The Green Door?

El_Cadejo's avatar

@augustlan yes i hate when they re-release books with the movie on the cover aghhh.

augustlan's avatar

I was pointedly ignoring those ;)

amanderveen's avatar

I love films, and although they have their own unique strengths, they still don’t compare to the original books.

cyndyh's avatar

I’ll read the book first, usually. A few times a movie has introduced me to an author when the story is good enough for me to want to find out who wrote the original. When you see the “Story based on the novel by [author]” tag that makes me seek out the author.

I’m not as disappointed in movies because I don’t go in expecting it to do the same things as the book. You have to go into the theater knowing they’re going to need to shorten the story and change some things to make that happen in a coherent way. I like wondering “How are they going to manage that bit?” when thinking about how some things in the book would be hard to translate to the screen. I think a lot of people’s disappointment is that they would have made different choices.

But I still prefer to read the book first because if the ending is spoiled I’d rather that it spoil a few minutes of entertainment in the theater than spoiling several hours of reading time.

AstroChuck's avatar

@auggie doggie- So you’re saying you preferred the Deep Throat novel to the film version. Interesting.

augustlan's avatar

Oh, Chuckie…no need to read the book or watch the movie when you’ve lived the life ~

mij's avatar

Good question. Bit of both most times.

AstroChuck's avatar

Whoa! You must tell me about that sometime. And when you do, tell me s l o w l y.

cyndyh's avatar

@AstroChuck: So you’re saying you’d rather read about it, slowly? LOL!

@augustlan: lurve. :^>

aidje's avatar

I prefer to read the book first so that the movie does not color my first experience with the original material.

exitnirvana's avatar

@aidje, agreed.

Movies ruin it for me on both sides of the spectrum. I definitely prefer books, but as far as procedure is concerned: I typically read the book first and then argue with the movie later. :)

90s_kid's avatar

I hate movies. Read the book.
I just can’t stare at a TV screen for that long——it makes me dizzy!
I would rather do other things that are actually productive.

@astrochuck, @augustlan
I saw the movie, too. I know! It skipped a lot like all movies do. It barely mentioned Cecil Jacobs and Reading to Mrs. Dubose etc. But it was still a good movie.

cak's avatar

I almost always read the book first and it usually kills the movie for me. I’ve had a few surprise me, but not many.

dynamicduo's avatar

Read the book. More often than not, the movie is a butchered up rehash equal to 50% of the magnificence found in the book.

There ARE a few exceptions, such as The Shawshank Redemption, which extrapolated a short story into a two hour wonderfest. But they are generally exceptions to the rule of “movies based on books do not have the same impact that the book has”.

steelmarket's avatar

Book, then movie. Especially when the movie tries to follow the book. There are rare exceptions, like LOTR, when the movie is so good it stands by itself, nearly an equal.

Occasionally, the movie is better: Blade Runner is a great example, @AstroChuck . We can thank Ridley Scott for that.

Which leads me to spin off a question…..

toomuchcoffee911's avatar


aidje's avatar

@exitnirvana – “read the book first and then argue with the movie later.” Exactly. :-)

amanderveen's avatar

@steelmarket – I have to disagree with the statement that the LOTR movies are nearly equal to the books. They are fantastic movies that I love to watch (I’ve got all the extended versions in my DVD library). They are pretty true to the spirit of the original books. I did tip my hat to Peter Jackson and his team for the phenomenal job they did, but there’s no way to fully capture books like that on film. Well, maybe if they’d stretched them out into more installments than just 3…. ;o)

aidje's avatar

@amanderveen – I’m going to have to go a step further and say that Peter Jackson absolutely butchered Lord of the Rings. I understand that he had to leave some things out for time, and that’s not my complaint. My complaint is about the things he outright changed for no good reason, such as the sequence of events with the Ents, with the oathbreakers, and with Narsil/Andúril, Haldir showing up at Helm’s Deep, and the character and reputation of Faramir. Inexcusable. I will give Peter Jackson a few things: the movies have good effects and costumes, some of the casting is good (Aragorn, most notably), and the visual feel is mostly very faithful to the feel of the books—but the movies are still a disgrace.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

in most cases i’d rather read the books. but in the case of say, lord of the rings (i haven’t read the books or watched the movies), i’d rather watch the movies.
the books usually have more details, and i can make the character appear however i’d like. sometimes my opinion on a character in a movie (or even the movie itself) is biased based on who is playing them, and i think that’s unfair.

tinyfaery's avatar

I think that most contemporary “pop literature” is crap, so I always assume the movie will be better. So, if the movie looks good enough for me to see it, and I enjoy it (which is rare) then I’ll pick-up the book. I do admit I bought the Twilight book—well really I asked for it for Giftmas—and I am waiting to get up the nerve to read it; I do not have high hopes. But I love vampire lore. We’ll see what happens, I guess.

I’ll take a Victorian novel anyday.

scamp's avatar

When I have enough time, I prefer to read the book.

@AstroChuck So, You’re a Marilyn Chambers fan, hmmm? She’s getting old kind of old, you know? In Fact I think her Grandmother and my Grandmother went down on the titanic together..ha ha!!

cordovanessa's avatar

book first then the movie

amanderveen's avatar

@aidje – I too was appalled by what they did to Faramir! I was furious about it when I walked out of the theatre! (Ok, maybe furious is a bit much, but I was really irritated.) Defaming Faramir’s character like that was just uncalled for!

After watching some of the extras on the DVDs, I at least understand their reasoning for doing so, though. They said they tried to keep his character true to the books, but they couldn’t get it to work in the context of the movies. They spent all that time building up the Ring as its own character that was so evil and insidious that it was practically impossible to resist its influence. Everyone was drawn to it and twisted by it. Then all of a sudden a guy comes along saying, “Screw that, I wouldn’t touch that thing with a ten foot pole!” It just wasn’t fitting in, especially since they didn’t have time to fully explore his real character. I had to concede the point, but that’s also part of the reason why I still insist that the books are so much better. You can’t adequately convey all the nuances of the books in a movie.

desiree333's avatar

Probably watch the movie first so you wont be disapointed. The only problem with that is if the movie wouldnt have been good if you read the book first then when you go to read the book after you will know what is going to happen and the differences in the characters and the plot and stuff might prevent you form enjoying the book. I prefer to read the book first.

jfrederick's avatar

i love seeing movies based on books that i have read, but if i had to choose one, i guess i’d choose the book. if i’ve read the book, i want to see the movie. if i see the movie i want to see the book. and most of the time, even if the movie is well-done, there are details and nuances of the book that just can’t be included in the movie b/c it’s too long or too complex.

asmonet's avatar

I always read the book before watching the movie if I know both are options.

aidje's avatar

@amanderveen – Tolkien made it work just fine, so I have a hard time accepting that. I was, and still am, furious. Peter Jackson portrayed Faramir as a selfish wuss.

amanderveen's avatar

@aidje – I agree that Peter Jackson did do just that. But he also had to work within the confines of his medium, which included (among other things) restrictions on finances and time allowances, unfortunately. Books are better. :o)

The_Inquisitor's avatar

haha, i guess i’m outnumbered. I’ve actually never really thought of it that way .. about spoiling it in a mere couple of hours in a movie than enjoying it for hours in a book. Books it is! =D

desiree333's avatar

If you see the movie you will get like almost a brief summary about the book. Then when you go to read the book you will know what is going to happen, and it may begin to bore you or you might not be used to the differences in the movie and therefore not fully enjoy the book. I would definety want to read the book, then go see the movie and judge on wheither or not the director did the book any justice.

IlonaW's avatar

I guess for me it was more. . . $9.00 for the book…
$10.00 for a ticket and $4.50 for a soda, and $4.50 for a small bag of M&Ms i chose the latter and watched the movie at a friends house when it came out on dvd. :)~

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