STORY BY HUDSON WEBBER
“Yeah, the book was way better than the movie.” Admit it, it’s usually true. When it comes down to it, most of the movies we spend our hard earned minimum wage to see are adapted from books. Everything from “The Imitation Game” and “Monuments Men” to “Wild” and “Inherent Vice” have a literary work behind them. But is it really necessary to read the book before the movie?
First off, reading is good for you. Especially reading that you choose to do. Not the monstrously boring pile of paper and ink that you “read” for your history Area Of Inquiry credit.
Self-motivated reading is reading that you do because you’re curious about the story. Reading engages the mind. It makes you imagine the narrative.
With a movie, the imagining is done for you. When you spend time getting involved in a story, you are more connected with it.
Next, I would say that if you read a movie’s respective book, you are actually getting a different story. Any time a book is adapted, large portions of the plot and characters are omitted.
It’s simply impossible to fit a 300 novel into a two-and-a-half hour movie. If you take the time to read a book, you get details and facets that are never found in the movie. Yes, you’re getting a similar story, but you’re getting the light version.
On top of that, if you read the book, then in some cases, I think you’re not only getting a different story from that of the movie, you’re getting a better story. So many times a motion picture is less related to its novel than I am to Morgan Freeman. Hollywood writers often have different priorities than novelists, whether it be money or a concise story.
Because of this, sometimes the overall plot line of the movie can turn out to be substandard (and somewhat unrelated to the book).
Think of it this way: You could go to high school, or college, but you cannot claim to know what one is like by experiencing the other. The same is true for movies and the books they came from.
All movie-based books are made into movies for a reason —someone enjoyed the book. If you read the book, you will have a better perspective on why someone else decided to make it into a movie. It shows that the book had a good enough story for a company to spend $100 million to bring it to life.
Yes, reading will take more time, and more effort. But to me, it’s worth it.