The Next Best Book Club discussion

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Book Related Banter > Book or movie first?

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message 1: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Lour While reading Shutter Island this last weekend, I had a conversation with my SO about reading a book, then watching the movie. I bought the book and told him I had to read the book so I could go watch the movie. He asked why I don't like to see the movie first which lead me to think about why it is my preference to read the book before the movie. My answer to him was, if I see the movie first I get pre conceived pictures in my head where as when I read the book first I get to use my own imagination and then see how the movie compares to that. (Although Shutter Island wasn't completely that way as I still saw Leo DeCaprio as Teddy and Mark Ruffalo as his partner thanks to the trailers?)

Which lead me to wonder about others. If there is both a book and a movie, which do you prefer to get through first?


message 2: by Derek (new)

Derek (diplodocus) | 5 comments I pretty much always want to read the book first, for the same reason that I want to imagine and picture the story in my own way first. When I finally do see the movie, I often end up wondering how anyone who did not read the book could have possibly understood most of the story.

The Children of Men was one movie that I thought way outperformed the book. The book was more of a jumping off point for the movie.


message 3: by Cassie (new)

Cassie (cassielo) | 42 comments I think I generally prefer to watch the movie first because I don't like when my expectations from the book aren't met in movie form. But then again, a movie can spoil a book for me because it gives away the spoilers without the good details and proper background. But usually, if I really love a movie, I'll wish there was a book it was based on that I could go and read. I usually don't wish there was a movie based on a book I've read.

I watched Eragon and loved it, so I went and read all the books. But I also watched the Princess Bride and loved it, but I was disappointed by the book.

So I guess it depends?


message 4: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I am almost always tempted to read the book if I see a movie and have not already read the book. If I read (and like) a book, I am much less likely to seek out the movie. I am pretty good at keeping the two seperate in my mind, so I think that helps with seeing or reading first not ruining the experience of the other.


message 5: by Manday (last edited Mar 09, 2010 03:28PM) (new)

Manday | 212 comments I always want to read the book first. If I see the movie first, in 99/100 cases I will lose any desire what so ever to read the book. If I do try to read the book after seeing the movie I tend to just be skimming waiting to see when or how some particular event happens,

The only exceptions I can think of are childrens books that get turned into movies, where I had no interest in the book until the movie was made.


message 6: by Marci (new)

Marci (iread49) | 215 comments The book is the original. In my experience very few movies stay true to the book which is disapointing. I hate when the book cover changes when the movie is pending.


message 7: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Lour Marci wrote: "The book is the original. In my experience very few movies stay true to the book which is disapointing. I hate when the book cover changes when the movie is pending."

Me too! I will not buy a book if it is the movie version cover unless I have no choice.


message 8: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10089 comments Mod
If I know it was a book, I will read the book first. In the case of "The Princess Bride" and "High Fidelity", I watched them a long time ago, and wasnt aware they were novels. I loved them so much as films though, that I wanted to read the books.. and did.

Those were the only two I can think of where seeing the movie didnt ruin the book for me.

I also like to read the books first so that I can let my imagination run wild. When I see the movie first, not only do I already know what is going to happen, but I see it all unfolding in my head with the characters in place, and I dislike that.

Reading the books first also help me to understand the movies better. The DaVinci Code was so choppy in the first quarter of the movie that had I not read the book, I would have been completely lost!


message 9: by Marie-vicky (new)

Marie-vicky (grimace) | 49 comments Hi,

Honestly,I prefer to read the book before watching the movie.Most Of the time the movie offer a totally different perspective.I have only in my mind Lord of Ring where I believe that the movie reflects really the book


message 10: by Trion (new)

Trion | 27 comments just going by the title, i certainly look to read book first.

try to imagine the entire book in my mind and see how different is the movie directed.


message 11: by Catamorandi (new)

Catamorandi (wwwgoodreadscomprofilerandi) | 1045 comments I definitely read the book first. I don't want anything to spoil the pleasure of "seeing" the scenes and characters in my own mind first. If I see the movie first, the book is ruined for me. I already have a preconceived notion of what will occur in the book when, and that spoils the whole idea of reading the book.


message 12: by Andreea (last edited Mar 10, 2010 06:37AM) (new)

Andreea (andyyy) | 117 comments Movie first. I almost never have the patience to watch a movie if I already know what's going to happen, on the other hand I rarely read books just for the plot so I don't mind knowing the end unless it's an unexpected plot twist and not that much even then. I especially like watching period dramas and then reading the books they're adapted from (period dramas are 4 out of 5 times adaptations) because this way I can imagine the dresses, buildings, atmosphere etc. while I read.


message 13: by Chantelle (new)

Chantelle (chantelle13) | 90 comments Book first, movie second, then back to the book to re-read. :D


message 14: by El (new)

El I try to read the book first. Like mentioned before I like to envision the characters, etc. my way. I feel Hollywood tends to really screw with a story, so I prefer to get it in its original form, unsullied. Occasionally I don't care enough about the book but have a vague interest in seeing the movie (like the Percy Jackson one), and once in a while I don't realize a movie was even based on a book until I see it in the beginning credits. Then I get angry.


message 15: by Alex (new)

Alex Book-based movies tend to be based on books I had no intention of reading in the first place, but if I like the movie I'll go back and read the book. That happened with Revolutionary Road (which is great) and Friday Night Lights (which I didn't like at all but the TV series is wicked awesome).

But if a movie does come out based on a book I like, I usually won't miss it. Especially if Angelina Jolie fake-takes her clothes off.

So, ah, both?


message 16: by El (new)

El Ugh, I couldn't stay awake during that Beowulf movie.


message 17: by Luna (last edited Mar 10, 2010 09:20AM) (new)

Luna Davis (Luna_Faye) | 7 comments There are a lot of movies that I read the book first before seeing the movie. But I find that reading the book first can more or less kill the move.

For example: I read the Percy Jackson and Harry Potter books before I ever saw the movies and I found that the movie was a major let down because they left so much out.

But when I first watched Alex Rider Operation Stormbreaker I loved the movie and then I went and read the book and loved to book too.

So in my openion if you can movie first and book after! =D


message 18: by Alex (new)

Alex Yeah, Beowulf wasn't very good.


message 19: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I enjoyed Beowulf for what it was. It got my sons interested enough to go back and re-read a better version than they had previously read. I don't mind if they change a story so that it's more visually entertaining. Often, what's entertaining and believable in print is NOT on film.


message 20: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10089 comments Mod
Awww. i kinda liked the animated Beowulf. I remember reading it waaaay back when in school, but I thought the movie was pretty good.


message 21: by Alex (new)

Alex Hey, if it encourages anyone to go read Beowulf, that's a win. $5 says they read Seamus Heaney's translation, right Kandice? It's awesome.

I found the CG creepy.


message 22: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 310 comments I want to see the animated Beowulf, now that i found out it was co-written by Neil Gaiman, had the story read to me in the 6th grade.


message 23: by Carol (new)

Carol The animated Beowulf is probably the only way some will ever know what it is about. If there was a comic book would be helpful also. hahahahahaha. I read the real thing many many many years ago. Maybe I should read it again.


message 24: by KarenLee (new)

KarenLee I rarely read the book if I've already seen the movie. Can't tell you why. To be honest, I'm rarely eager to see a movie based on a book I loved, unless it's been a few years since I read the book.


message 25: by Trion (new)

Trion | 27 comments I saw Da-Vinci code so i am not sure that i should go for the book now as i would feel i am wasting my time.

though story is amazing and i didnt like the movie, but now i know the twist;i wont have the same excitement of reading a fiction novel that i usually do.


the day i dont recall the movie,i will read the novel.


message 26: by Luna (new)

Luna Davis (Luna_Faye) | 7 comments It was required reading in my high school and I am thinking the same thing, maybe I should go back and read it again too.


message 27: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Alex wrote: "Hey, if it encourages anyone to go read Beowulf, that's a win. $5 says they read Seamus Heaney's translation, right Kandice? It's awesome.

I found the CG creepy."


Yep, but then we went back and took turns reading the original (translation) out loud. The fact that they were willing to do that has everything to do with the movie. As we read, they kept wishing there had been more in the movie. The bees being what they most longed to see. (me too! CGI bees would be waaaaaay cool)


message 28: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (ash88) | 34 comments Book first!

If you see someone's interpretation of a book before you read the book yourself, most likely that's what's going to be in your head while you read it. I hate that! I Like getting my own ideas and then comparing them to the movies. I try to watch movies with an open mind though... otherwise I end up disappointed.

My boyfriend and I were just talking about this... he was mad that I refused to see Shutter Island until I finished the book :P


message 29: by Alisha Marie (last edited Mar 11, 2010 10:00AM) (new)

Alisha Marie (endlesswonderofreading) | 715 comments I always try to read the book first. Mostly because it's fun for me to see the things that I imagined while reading the book on the screen and then think "Wow, the filmmakers got it all wrong...that's not supposed to look like that in the book". I don't really mind if they get a wrong, though. I look at the movie as someone else's interpretation of the book. It may not represent my interpretation or the author's interpretation, but I tend to enjoy watching it nonetheless, especially if it's to bash it.

Also, a lot of the time when I watch the movie first and then read the book, I end up liking the movie better. This happened to me with Practical Magic and The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. I loved the movies, but just felt "meh" about the books. Also, with Roald Dahl's Matilda. I loved the movie so much as a kid and would watch it constantly. I just recently read the book and while I liked it, I found the movie more charming.

There were a couple of times where watching the movie first worked out well for me. When I was in the fifth grade I bought the first Harry Potter book. I was bored throughout the first chapter, put it down, and then didn't pick it up again until the first and second movies came out. I read it then and I absolutely loved all of the books. Had I not seen the movie, I doubt I would've picked up any of the Harry Potter books again.


message 30: by Liz (last edited Mar 11, 2010 08:39PM) (new)

Liz I always try to read the book first. Sometimes I fail. I've never felt that doing it in the opposite order has ruined a book for me. I'm one who believes that something that works in a novel may not be practical on the screen (or vice versa) so I while I like to acknowledge that they're connected, I treat them as separate.

I may actually see Shutter Island before I read the book. I know that will sound like blaspheme to some who have read the book, but I'm home from school for break and it's hard to get to a movie theater from my school, and I only have a few days left here. However, I'm actually eager to see it because my uncle has a silent appearance in the movie (I guess he's a gardener? he has a huge bald head and a scraggly beard, if you see the movie) and I would like to support him by seeing it on the big screen.
EDIT: This is my uncle.http://waldo.villagesoup.com/news/sto...


message 31: by Dana * (new)

Dana * (queenofegypt) I was just revising my thinking on this. Usually, I want book first, because I want to be able to know what the movie left out or changed. Character development is very important to me, and you just don't get that much in a movie because of the time constraint.
However, I finally read "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" years after loving Blade Runner. The movie is almost nothing like the book, and I like the movie much better. It is hard for me to concentrate on what the book was trying to say, and separating what the movie was trying to say. so in the end, yep, I still vote for Book First!!.


message 32: by Lianne (new)

Lianne (eclecticreading) I do my best to read the book before I watch the movie since it's the original medium in which the story was presented from. Plus, I like to interpret the stories first before I watch an adaptation that is clearly from the screenwriter/director's perspective. Sometimes I'll be surprised when I watch a movie and find out that it was based off a book; if I've enjoyed the movie, I'll check out the book afterward =)


message 33: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) Catamorandi wrote: "I definitely read the book first. I don't want anything to spoil the pleasure of "seeing" the scenes and characters in my own mind first. If I see the movie first, the book is ruined for me. I a..."

I definately agree. There is nothing more annoying than picturing an actor in a book instead of my own creation. Same goes with setting.


message 34: by Kristie (new)

Kristie (spedkristie) my mom and I had this discussion when I was reading the Lightning Thief in preparation for the movie. I had told my nephew he had to read the book, if he wanted me to take him to the movie. I get both sides of the argument. My mom's was see the movie first, then get uber impressed by the book. I personally want the book first. I think I would rather experience the true form of the story first. Even when the movies don't live up to the expectation, I have the whole story from the book. it also helps me advocate to others to read the books of said movies...


message 35: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jayme-reads) Definitely book first. But only if it's something I was interested in reading before the movie came out. I really like movies like Bourne Identity, James Bond, and da Vinci Code, but have no interest in reading them.

With favourite books though, some movies have managed to ruin things I'd like to reread. Like Lord of the Rings. Now I will forever be seeing Elijah Wood and Vigo what's-his-face running around the forest when I read those books. Although that's OK for Strider, because he was hot in that movie. Too bad he's so unattractive in everything else he's made. I'm still looking forward to the upcoming Hobbit though.


message 36: by El (new)

El Jayme wrote: "Although that's OK for Strider, because he was hot in that movie. Too bad he's so unattractive in everything else he's made."

Yeah, what's up with that? He wasn't too bad in Hidalgo... just instead of forest-mud he was covered in desert-sand. Still sweaty, though, which apparently really works for him.


message 37: by Jayme (last edited Mar 14, 2010 11:18PM) (new)

Jayme (jayme-reads) I didn't like his hair in Hidalgo, but yeah, he was still okay looking. I think he was just discovered too late, right on the cusp of being an old man. Have you seen The Road (I saw the trailer)? He looks terrible! Oh well, he lives on in hotness in my LotR DVD set.


message 38: by Ida Suyanto (new)

Ida Suyanto | 21 comments Book first!

I read the book after I hear rumor about the adaptation (if I like the story). And I wait til the movie comes out to watch it.


message 39: by Trion (new)

Trion | 27 comments Here's an angle,

What would you prefer first,

Books,Movie, or Video Gaming???

I prefer Video Gaming as it provides more excitement and you feel involved in the story.

My favourite was Broken Sword-3.


The Romance Reviews (Carole) (The_Romance_Reviews) | 15 comments I definitely prefer to watch the movie first. Because all too often, the movie (with its limited screen time) would've left things out that were in the book. If I'd read the book first, I would've been disappointed. This way, I get to be amazed two times.

Then again, the problem is, if I had already watched the movie, I might not pick up the book, like what happened with Stardust. But, if I'd read the book, there's a good chance I'll still watch the movie, if only to see the special effects. Like with all the Harry Potter movies so far.


message 41: by Westiemom (new)

Westiemom | 35 comments I would say I would rather read the book first, then if I liked it alot then go see the movie. There has been several movies from books where I saw the movie first and totally spoiled the book for me. Sometimes the movie does not follow the book, and makes you think then why did they make the movie.


message 42: by Erin (new)

Erin Book first, movie second!...and usually the book again to compare ;)

But only because I'm usually disappointed with the second version I experience - and I'd rather be disappointed with a movie than with a book!


message 43: by Usako (last edited Mar 18, 2010 01:31PM) (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) | 326 comments I do a mix since sometimes I may not want to read the book and am satisfied by movie alone. Other times, I never knew there was a book and was happy to read afterwards.

So I guess it's the mood I'm in. Neither spoils my experience I suppose. Cause once I get into a book, I have my own visualization regardless of who Hollywood casted :P


message 44: by M. (new)

M. B. I think I'm in the minority here. If there is a book I wanted to read and found out it was going to made into a movie, I'd watch the movie first. It never fails that if I read a book first and then watch the movie, I am always disappointed. Things that I liked about the book are cut from the movie, the plot changes, and I'm always grumbling "that's not how it's supposed to go!"

When I read the book AFTER I watch the movie, it's like viewing the deleted scenes or having access to extras on the dvd in my head. And I'm normally not disappointed after the experience.


message 45: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 101 comments I definitely try to read the book first before I see the movie because if I see the movie first, then it would spoil everything for me when I read the book, like what happened with "Matilda" when I saw the movie first and I couldn't exactly read through the book, because I kept thinking about the movie.


Ems Loves to Read (esondie) I generally prefer to read the book first for the same reasons. I have a vivid imagination, and I love to give it free reign. However, in the case of Eragon, I couldn't get through the book the first time I tried it out. It read like a really bad piece of fanfiction to me. (I later found out that the author was a teenager when he wrote it, so I had to give him props for being that ambitious) Then I saw the movie, and while it wasn't really anything noteworthy, it did make me pick up the book again. The second time around, I found myself enjoying it because things made more sense.


message 47: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne (bellamy22) | 610 comments I just read, on this morning's 'Salon' e-newspaper, a very compelling article about why we are all addicted to 'The Girl Who...' series.

I also read about the movie being made, based on the book series, and who they are considering as acting choices. Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, were two names that were mentioned. Anyone else see this article???


message 48: by El (new)

El Warning, the Salon article has big spoilers for anyone who hasn't read them. I no longer need to read past the first book now. Which is probably okay since I was ho-hum about the first book anyhow. :)

But there's already a movie of the first book, right? So Depp and/or DiCaprio would be in the next two movies? Or would they be in a Hollywood remake?


message 49: by Mary (new)

Mary (madamefifi) | 358 comments Oddly, I have never read anything by Jane Austen but I enjoy the movies that are made from her books so much that I have now decided to attempt Persuasion this summer. I've chosen this particular book because as far as I know it has not been made into a film, and because my impression is that it is rated as her best work.


Ems Loves to Read (esondie) Hey Mary, Persuasion was done by the BBC a few years back for Masterpiece Theatre, and by several other companies before that. The BBC version is by far the best, but definitely read it before watching!


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