Book or Movie Adaptation: The Timeless Debate

By Sara Aslagson-Sahar

Are you someone who thinks the book is better or the movie adaptation? I feel like this is a timeless argument between book lovers and movie-enthusiasts alike, and the answer is not clear. I love books and their movie counterparts. Except for the Lord of the Rings series, I always read the book before I see the movie. I think the book gives you a connection to the characters that movies do not portray. In the movie you do not learn character’s motivations to the same depth. There are little twists and turns about a character that directors/producers/Hollywood just do not have time for in the two hour limit of a movie. I understand the time restraints, but this often means that my favorite parts of the book are cut out of the movie. In the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie, we never learned the backstory of the creators of the Marauder’s Map. We did not learn that the reason why Augustus Waters was staring so intensely at Hazel in The Fault in Our Stars movie when she first arrives at the Cancer Kid Support Group is because she looks uncannily like his ex girlfriend.

These moments are what create and define a character in ways that when they are taken out of the movie, they just feel… less human. I am not saying that you cannot connect with the characters without these parts because viewers definitely do. I just feel, as the reader, you get a bonus round and a deeper connection. It is like watching the behind the scenes filming secrets without the movie coming out on DVD yet. There are few movie adaptations that I have been entirely happy with all choices made. I still love and enjoy movie adaptions, and watch them again and again, but I will still need to reread the books to get the entire story that I love.

trilogy-hunger_gamesThere are benefits to a movie adaptation, though. There are many people in this world who do not like reading. Since I am an editor of a literary journal, I think it will come as no surprise when I say I do not understand the concept of not liking to read. But nonbook lovers are out there and if movie adaptations are the only way these people are going to get a glimpse into some of my favorite stories, I support it. Because my father is such an incredibly slow reader, he often chooses not to read. But because The Hunger Games came out as a movie, we were able to have a conversation about how great Katniss is. This opportunity would not be accessible for us without movie adaptations.

Movie adaptation or the book? I guess that decision is up to you. At the end of the day, I’m glad people are able to enjoy the story. In 2016, Looking for Alaska by John Green is coming to theaters, anyone want to go see it with me?

Do you prefer reading a book or watching the movie adaption? Take this poll and let us know! 


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