Books and Movies

Years ago I learned that if I read a book first and then see the movie, I spent the whole movie thinking, “Well, that’s not right” as the director’s vision differed from what was in my head. During my freshman year of college, I discovered that if I watch the movie before reading the book, I was able to enjoy the movie for what it was. Reading the book afterwards enhances the experience.

One of the comments I had to my Weird Sisters review – who am I kidding? The ONLY comment on the review – was from Barb at The Empty Nest Mom . She mentioned how she had tried that book, returned it, but was going back for a second attempt.

I have definitely had that happen to me before. Initially I give a book 50 pages to catch my interest before casting it aside. Well, as it turns out some books need more than that, notably Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Or at least so everyone kept telling me.

Well, I decided to watch the movie first, thinking that would give me a running start into the book. I called a friend that I know had seen both versions of the movie and asked which one he recommended. He said that the European movie followed the story much more closely, and that the American version was much more … American – skipping the slow parts and adding in more action. Since I already found the book unbelievably slow, I went for the fast American movie.

It was okay. Just okay. I did try the book again, this time on tape. I didn’t even make it as far as I had before. I don’t think this  series was meant for me. I refuse to force myself when it is for “fun”!

My next few movies based on books are ones that I have already read. It’s not my fault! I read (and loved!!!!) Great Expectations as a freshman in high school. I also want to see what Walter Salles does with On the Road. I read that book as part of a book club, and I hated it! I found myself constantly wishing that the main character would grow up. Maybe on the big screen it will be better.

Which comes first for you – the movie or the book?

9 thoughts on “Books and Movies”

  1. Definitely movie first. I am a grumbler about things that don’t match up with my mental picture the other way around. I wonder why it is that the movie-then-book pattern works so much better?


    1. Glad to hear that I’m not alone! So many of my friends rush to finish the book before going to the film. It just leaves me shaking my head. When I read, the story completely unfolds in full technicolor. I’ve never had a case where that image matches the director’s vision.


  2. It is so hard to hang in there with a book. I think I’m with you – about 50 pages. It’s such a great skill to get your reader into the world of the book. I just finished a book, Where’d You Go Bernadette, that almost lost me in the beginning, but I hung in there, focused, and ended up l-o-v-i-n-g it.

    Thanks for the shout out Tammy. You remind me that I need to get after twitter. There’s so much community and linking power that I am not using or enjoying. And me? I have to read the book first.


    1. I just put “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” into my queue. You give the best book suggestions! I know to give it a little bit of time for me to get into it.

      Well, you gave further proof that we aren’t long lost twins: Reading the book first?!?!

      Spoiler alert: My post on Monday is in part about the joy of Twitter!


  3. I couldn’t get into this series, either, and I tried. Too many books, too little time, to work very hard at something that isn’t working for me, even when it seems the rest of the world is in love with it.

    I have to confess that I often watch the movie in order to not read the book. Again, too many books. Sometimes, I choose to watch the movie instead.


    1. Thanks for stopping by, Joy. I firmly believe in your motto – too many books, too little time. And, I will confess, I have watched a movie in order not to read the book and to still pick up the popular references.


  4. I can’t believe I am reading this post from YOU! Several years ago I was at a party and this series was recommended to me. I wasn’t sure it was for me, but eventually I ended up with the first one from the library. I LOVED IT! Read the entire series, even though they got longer and less edited. Still, loved the story and characters. I was hooked and excited to see the movies (this was before an American one was even rumored). Now I still haven’t seen the American one, but all the originals. Enjoyed them all. And I have someone by the name of Hillary, who I met at my first Tammy party to thank for all the entertainment. 😉


      1. I know, it was her emphatic recommendation that forced me into remembering her story. I was recently out of the Twilight series (I’m late to everything). So you can imagine my hesitation.


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