We’ve seen it time and time again as a book becomes popular. Fans shriek in delight when they hear that the book is going to become a movie. Fans create dream casts. Fans read every article about the upcoming movie. Fans re-read the book three times before the movie comes out. Fans buy tickets to the opening night.
And fans hate the movie.
Of course, sometimes the movie stays true to the book, or in some cases, the movie is so completely different from the book that readers enjoy it as its own separate story. However, most of the time the excitement bookworms feel about the movie ebbs away in a stream of disappointment because the movie wasn’t nearly as good as the book.
Why is this so? I can think of a few reasons:
- Books pack in a lot more information than a two hour movie. All the subplots and details of the story that made the book come alive for the reader are skipped over or condensed in the movie.
- Every reader creates their own vision of the book in their mind, from a character’s charming smile to the play out of an intense action scene. Movies don’t always meet a reader’s exact vision for their beloved story, which ultimately results in disappointment.
- If the movie’s plot is completely different from the book’s, then fans of the book may accept the movie as its own unique story. However, if the movie only changes some things, you will have bookworms standing up in the middle of the theater and shrieking, “That’s not how it happened!”
- And, of course, there are instances where the movie just isn’t well done. Whether it is the poor choice in actors or a feebly crafted screenplay, a lousy movie will definitely have readers telling everyone and their dog that the book was so much better.
So ultimately, given the choice between watching a movie and reading a book, I will probably choose the latter. If you would like to share your thoughts about movies vs. books, then leave a comment below, on Facebook, or on Twitter.