If you recorded everything I’ve ever said and counted it all up, you’d find there’s one phrase I’ve used throughout my life more than any other. And that sentence is: “The book was better.” Yep, I’m one of those. Books are my life—so people are rather surprised when they recommend me a book, and I respond, “I’m going to wait and watch the movie first.”
Pretty much the first rule of being a bibliophile seems to be always read the book first. I don’t think they let you in the club otherwise. So I’ve spent nearly a quarter of a century making sure I never set foot in a cinema until I’ve memorised the source material. But the thing is, books are my life, and every time I go to the cinema hoping for one of my all-time faves to be brought to glorious technicolour life, I’m disappointed.
It’s not that these movies are bad (ahem, some of them are). In fact, some of them are brilliant; I wrote a whole post about the movies that almost rival the books. But no matter how fantastic the movie is, even if it’s as high up my list as The Princess bloody Bride—it’s just not going to live up to the book.
Over the summer, I wrote an article for Read It Forward wondering ‘Is It Ever OK To Watch The Movie First?‘—and now I’m decided. It’s always OK. Because while watching the movie of a beloved book feels like falling into a well of disappointment, the same doesn’t apply the other way round. If I watch the movie first, I can actually enjoy it, without holding it up to an unfair comparison. And then when I get home, I can dive deeper into the back story and explore more of the characters that I already know I love. The book is bound to be even better, so it’s a win-win. If I love the movie, then I’ll love the book even more.
What do you think? Do you have more fun if you watch the movie first?
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