Which comes first, the book or the movie...

United States
December 28, 2010 2:07pm CST
I have read several books that have, at some point, been made into a movie. Some I have never heard of until the movie came out. It may have pricked my curiosity enough that I would go and search out the book to read and may never see the movie. I prefer to read the book first and then see the movie, if I am going to see it all. It seems to me that the movie never really does justice to the book. I believe that when you read a book you use your own imagination as you read. If you watch a movie you are using someone else's imagination. Which do you prefer? Do you read the book first or watch the movie?
4 people like this
28 responses
@SIMPLYD (78118)
• Philippines
29 Dec 10
I always want that i read the book first before i see the movie. Sometimes, in the movie the actors speak in such a way that the words being said are unclear. Hence, i always prefer that i read the book version first before watching the movie. But some movies don't have the book versions yet, before they are out for viewing. So, i am sometimes disappointed when i watch it and the conversations are not clearly spoken or sometimes they pronounce the words in a too slang manner that it's hard to comprehend.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 10
Right, if we read the book first we have an easier time of following the movie. I think the books are already there first, they just may not have been in the mainstream yet and the popularity of the movie brings more attention to the book. Thanks for your comment.
@rugerr (10)
• Bulgaria
28 Dec 10
I like more first to wath the movie then to read the book.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 10
Now see, that is just the opposit for me. I prefer to read the book. We all have different ways, don't we. Thanks for sharing your preference.
• United States
29 Dec 10
i dont know.. heheh
@ren1982 (341)
29 Dec 10
i have always loved reading so for me it will always be the book! even like you if i watch a film and find its a book will read it. but i do also like to watch the film if i read the book 1st cos like you said watching the film is watchin it thru someone else's imagintion so its good to get someone else's view of how they saw the book. i think its great when you watch a film and parts of it are just how you thought it would be while you were reading the book. i also watched the tv show dexter and when i found out it was based on books i got them all. so being able to watch films that comes from a book are great! but still the book will always win the fight for me!
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Jan 11
Me too, ren. Books will always come first. I really don't watch a whole lot of movies and I don't often come across movies that have been made from a book I've read. But every once in a while I will find one and watch it to see how it compares. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised by how faithful it is to the book. Those are the movies I really enjoy.
• United States
29 Dec 10
I prefer to watch the movie first generally because movies are never as good as the book and I am usually let down if I am expecting things to happen that don't.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 10
Right, Toadsticker, we already have our expectations after reading the book, and if they are not met it is disappointing. Thank you for joining the discussion.
@camposkat (310)
29 Dec 10
Hi commonground! I agree with you and I have noticed that as well. It does tickle my curiosity especially when I hear of a movie based on a book or a novel. It's interesting enough if you did enjoy watching the movie but then when you try to find and read the book, it's quite different isn't it? I mean most of the time I don't really want to try to compare the movie to the original story from the book/novel because it is just the script writer's own interpretation of the story. And to answer your question, it is always the book/novel that comes before the movie. Writers/script writers, producers or directors just happen to have (most likely) read the novel and find it interesting enough (or have been inspired) to make it into a movie. So far I haven't seen a movie that is 99% exactly like the one in the books although some may say otherwise. I love reading books but I haven't really come across all the books that were turned into a movie. It does interest me though, after watching a movie adaptation of a novel, to look for and read it.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 10
I believe I did word my title wrong... I do know the book is always written first then someone turns it into a movie. What I should have been more clear about was the question "which comes first, the book or the movie"...I meant for that to be which comes first for YOU, reading the book or watching the movie. Sorry for any confusion. I always find it interesting when I have heard of a movie that is based on a book I may have read long ago. I would probably watch that movie and then go back and read the book again. One of the worst adaptions to the screen I have ever seen was Clan of the Cave Bear. Have you seen or read that. The book was really good, so good that I read it all at once in one day because I couldn't put it down. When the movie was made we (the whole family had read it) were so excited but it was one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Sometimes it may be best to just stop at reading the book and leave the movie to others.
@SHAMRACK (8384)
• India
29 Dec 10
Dear friend, I love to watch movies, than books. Moreover it is much creative in movies, which is ended withing a specific time allotted.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 10
yes, the movies are very creative. sometimes that is what we want, isn't it. And you're right, they do end within an allotted time period, you always know when it will be over. I like the freedom of the book, though, I can always put it down and do other things then come back and pick up where I left off.
@verabear (797)
• Philippines
29 Dec 10
I also prefer reading the book first. If I know there's a book, I'd hold off on watching the movie. If I like a movie and then find out it;s based on a book, then I'd more likely try to find that book and read it too. You're right, while reading it's our own imagination that lets us envision what's happening. It sure is nice to see the stories in full color though like in movies :)
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 10
I've done that too, verabear, put off seeing the movie until I can read the book. It is nice to see the story come alive in a movie if it can stay pretty true to the book. It's just disappointing if it has changed to the point that there is little resemblence to the book. Thanks for joining in the discussion.
@junmae (1592)
• Philippines
29 Dec 10
I prefer to watch the movie rather to read it in a book because I like to see characters moving and talking instead of imagining them while reading. I love reading but I still prefer to watch it. I hope I could watch movies based on the book of Sidney Sheldon.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 10
Hi junmae. See how we all have a different view of the same point? I much prefer to read the book and use my imagination than see the movie and see someone else's imagination in action. I like taking my time reading, laying it down for a while if I choose and then picking up where I left off when I am ready. I am not a fan of Sidney Sheldon but my daughter likes to read his books. I have noticed some of his books are shown as movies on TV. But if a book catches my attention it doesn't matter who wrote it or what it's about. If it makes me curious for more I am ok with seeing the movie.
@blue65packer (11835)
• United States
29 Dec 10
I hate when I read a book and it comes out as a movie! I have seen movies that started as books and I don't like it! The book is usually so differnet then the book and vice versa! So now if I read a book and it becomes am movie I won't watch it! I get to disappointed otherwise!
• United States
29 Dec 10
Right, what's the use of watching a movie if you will only be disappointed. I say take your time and enjoy the book. Thanks for your response ;)
• India
29 Dec 10
I prefer to read the book rather than the movie. Because book is written in a vast manner and it is elaborative too. And take my word...when from the same story the movie will be made, lot of interesting things will be cut off. Thats why I dont like watching those movies. Like Angels and demons...the book is awesome. but when I see the movie, I dont feel that much charm. The only thing I like about the movie is "Tom Hanks"!!! Very little no. of movies are good as the book they have followed. Like Shawshank redemption, which I feel the book and the movie both are same way interesting.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 10
We believe the same way. And also have had a similar experience about a book and movie. See my response above about the book and movie Lonesome Dove. That doesn't happen very often. I'm glad to hear someone has had the same feeling about a book and movie. I have seen part of the movie Shawshank Redemption but have never read the book. I may have to look for a copy and check it out. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
@Celanith (2334)
• United States
29 Dec 10
It used to be they wrote the book and made the movie. Then it got to be sometimes they made a movie and wrote the book afterwards. I prefer reading the book first then watching the movie if the book was written first. But if written after then watching the movie I have found to be better than reading the book.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 10
I've always thought the book comes first. It may be that the book has not had much attention until the movie was made, then suddenly the book has been rediscovered and there is much attention drawn to it from the movie. I could be wrong... in either case I still like to read the book, then I may never see the movie, anyway. I just much prefer reading a book than seeing a movie. Have you ever seen the movie Lonesome Dove? It's a western, but just a little something different than your usual western. I read that book and then several years later saw the movie.. it is one of the best movies I've ever seen! It was every bit as good as the book. It was wonderful to watch the book come alive right before my eyes. In my experience that is a rare occurrence. I recommend the book and the movie, it doesn't matter which comes first. Thanks for sharing with us.
@mikyle (45)
• Philippines
29 Dec 10
If I really want to see the movie, I'll watch it first then I will read the book. I think reading it first will really make me bored watching it..:)..I mean we all have different preferences right..:)
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 10
You're right, mikyle, we all have different preferences. I think just the opposite of you. I prefer the book first. Then I may or may not wish to see the movie. It will have to be very good to make me want to see it. Thanks for giving us a different view.
@NoWayRo (1062)
• Romania
29 Dec 10
Generally I read the book first, if I know there's a book, because the movie is a bit too "fast forward" for me... In a couple of hours I see the whole plot and the ending. With the book, I take things slowly, and, since I already know the main lines of the plot, I can be more careful with the movie and look for other things - like how the actors interpret, how the costumes look, what the director did with certain scenes and so on.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 10
I agree with you, the movie must move along at a faster pace, even leaving out parts that are vital to the story, just to fit their time constraints and budget. Reading the book allows us to immerse ourselves in the story and take our time to discover every aspect of the plot. It can be very interesting to see how the actors portray the characters we have already gotten to know.
@sender621 (14956)
• United States
29 Dec 10
I have seen it happen alot. The movie comes out and before you kno it the book is on the shelves. i like to read the book first if i can. i like to put my own spin on what the movie gives.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 10
I also prefer to read the book first. But it can be disappointing to finally see the movie and it does not live up to what I have read. I would rather just stick with the book. Thanks for sharing with us.
• United States
28 Dec 10
Personally I prefer to see the movie first. I have come to notice that when I read the books first, the movie tends to be a bit of a disappointment because of all the details they tend to cut. So I prefer to see the movie and then read the book so that I can comprehend and make more understanding of the movie. The book always explains why things are occurring, since a movie can only be so long the producers have no choice but to cut most of the scenes.
• United States
28 Dec 10
Another good point of view. That's a good explanation of why someone would prefer the movie first. I don't watch that many movies so the book is always my first choice. Thanks for giving us a different perspective.
• United States
28 Dec 10
I prefer to read the book first and compare the movie to the original. I think it's because when I am reading I imagine the book and it kinda gets spoiled when I see the movie first since it puts its own interpretation and pictures in my mind first! Definitely the book first!
• United States
28 Dec 10
There you go... that's the whole thing of using your own imagination verses watching someone else's. When you see the movie first it is set in your mind and I believe it can spoil the book for you. Someone else's view is already implanted. We all seem to agree on this... so far :)
• Jamaica
28 Dec 10
I prefer also to read the book than watch the movie. I think the book is much more comprehensive and detailed, many time s the movie is just a watered down version of the book.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 10
You are exactly right. Sometimes the movie bears little resemblence to the book. They even change the whole feel of it sometimes. In making the movie they have to take into consideration the time involved and they change things to fit into their time frame. Thanks for your response.
• Philippines
6 Jan 11
hi commonground, For me i prefer to watch the movie first becoz sometimes the original story did not come up as like in the book so will just get disappointed about it. happy posting
• United States
6 Jan 11
That's one way to avoid disappointment, just go right for the movie without reading the book. That way you don't know what is different. I have done that a time or two. Thanks for joining the conversation.
@bjcyrix (6910)
• Philippines
1 Jan 11
Whichever comes first, there are times when I hear about the book first or maybe the movie first. But I have a different way to do things. I mean if Ive read the book, I dont mind watching the movie. However, if Ive seen the movie, I will never read its book. You are right that books make you use your imagination. You would read the insights of the characters and some information that only a book can give. You also imagine your own settings, clothes, characters, etc. After reading the book, it would be nice to watch a movie based on the book. It would be like watching another person's point of view of the same book. The director would have a different perspective and interpretation on it. Movies are also limited because of its time, and more often than not, the movie is an incomplete version of a book. This may be the reason why most movies dont own up to its book counterparts. As for movies, if you've seen the movie, then you take what you have watched as it is. You dont have any inside information as to the characters so you wouldnt dispute/argue over the plot and the characters. If you like to know more, then reading the book would be best. For me, however, I just leave the book be. I take the movie just the way it is cause that's how Ive known the movie for. So I have read the book then maybe watch the movie. But I never read the book once Ive seen the movie. That's just me anyways.^_^ Happy New Year!
• United States
4 Jan 11
Happy New Year to you, too, bjcyrix! I really like your point of view. It's a little more insight into how someone might see this situation. You are right, seeing the movie sort of stands alone, there's not much of a reason to have to read the book because it has all been laid out for you in the movie. If you then read the book you're going to have to completely rearrange what you have already seen. I think, though, for me, it's just another reason to read the book first. I like to form my own character evaluation and build the story as I read. Then if I do see the movie later I may see the differences but I still have my story in my mind. I think it's great how so many people can have so many different views. We are all different, aren't we?
@anniepa (27247)
• United States
31 Dec 10
I've done both - read the book before seeing the movie and seen the movie and then read the book. I was just thinking about this the other day and here's my theory, at least for myself: it seems that whichever I get to first turns out to be my personal favorite. I agree about how when you read a book you can use your own imagination, which may be why the movie can sometimes be a disappointment. I've already read a book and had a very vivid picture in my mind of what the main characters looked and sounded like and then when I've seen the movie the actors playing the part have sometimes been the total opposite of what I'd imagined them to be. That isn't to say they weren't good, they just didn't match my imagination. Also, a book often goes into much more detail than the movie does, due to time constraints, and there's often quite a bit of artistic license taken with a movie adaptation. I'd like to add there have been quite a few books through the years I've read after seeing the movie and actually BECAUSE of the movie. When that's occurred I've found myself picturing the stars of the movie as I read the book, even if they don't fit the author's description. Annie
• United States
4 Jan 11
You're right, the first exposure to the story, either book or movie is usually how you will bond with it. I don't see a whole lot of movies so the book is usually my first experience with the story. When you form a picture in your mind of character details, scenery and dialogue it's hard to switch it over to what someone else wants you to see, feel and hear. I'll always be a book person I guess.