Books and movies, just different, not better


Em Paquette

Students differ between whether they like the movie or book version of a story.

Molly Segner , Staff Writer

There are two types of people in this world: Those who take time to read the book, and those who wait for the movie to come out. One group is certainly lazier than the other, but which is better?

For my book readers out there, I know the disappointment of seeing a movie and thinking “That’s not how I picture it,” or “I can’t believe they changed the whole ending,” or even “that was nothing like the book.” Books are highly personal, and allow us to create the characters amidst our own imagination. We feel emotions right alongside characters in the book and if you’re anything like me, you may get just slightly attached to the characters. I honestly felt personally attacked and extremely sad when Augustus Waters tragically died in the novel,  The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green.

Books give their audience creative freedom that movies simply can’t. “I like books better because you can visualize everything yourself. Plus, it’s more fun to reread something than to rewatch because you can pick up on little things that you missed before,” junior Kiley Krumenauer said.

There’s something so nostalgic about reading classic novels “I like books because I’m an old soul. I just learn better reading words on a printed page,” senior Matthew Murnane said.

For others, a visual representation is often more helpful. “Movies are better. I learn better from a screen,” senior Michael Schmidt said.

It’s more fun to reread something than to rewatch because you can pick up on little things that you missed before.

— Kiley Krumenauer

Although books allow readers the beauty to build a picture in their head, sometimes movies do a better job of portraying these pictures with drama and intensity. For instance, Jaws is much more thrilling to watch because your body tenses more and more as the hungry shark inches closer to its next helpless victim. Don’t get me wrong, the book is still plenty thrilling, but visuals add that extra wow factor that really captivates the audience. “Film scenes can often fill in visualization often missed when just reading the words,” senior Grace Bacon said.

For people who equally indulge in reading and watching, another inquiry arises: is it better to read or watch first? “I would rather read the book before seeing the movie. You read, then watch.  That’s how it works,” senior Celia Pflum said.

Of course, reading the book before seeing the movie inevitably creates expectations and makes us vulnerable to disappointment. “If you watch the movie first, the watching experience is better because you don’t know what’s coming. If you read the book first you will be disappointed by the movie,” senior Logan McCloskey said.

For my friends who prefer movie watching in general, you may find it hard to ever crack open the book once you’ve already seen it in theaters. “You watch and you say you are going to read it… but you never do,” senior John Landy said.

All in all, I think movies and books are independent of one another and should be appreciated as unique mediums.

— Grace Bacon

In a survey of 57 BSM students, 75% said they would rather read the book before seeing the movie, but how often does this really happen?

Let’s talk specifics. A majority of BSM students said they prefer the movie over the book for teenage classics Twilight, Harry Potter, and The Hunger Games. Coincidence, or proof that movies trump novels?

It honestly just comes down to time. You can watch a movie in two hours, but a book can take weeks to read, and let’s be honest, people just don’t have the time for that. “Books are hard,” sophomore Charlie Hansberry said.

We can compare all day long, but reading and watching are engaging in their own way. Books and movies are completely different things. It’s nearly impossible to determine if one is really better than the other. “All in all, I think movies and books are independent of one another and should be appreciated as unique mediums,” senior Grace Bacon said.

Movie or books, we’re all really looking for the same thing, relaxed and enjoyable entertainment. “I think they’re different art mediums and not necessarily comparable,” senior Nathan Parece said.