Bookish Discussion

Books Vs. Movies: Which Version Should You Experience First? | Book Discussion

Hey Guys! I am Max and we will be composing the age-old debate on “Books Vs. Movies: Which Version Should You Experience First?” today. The introduction to book discussion topics is always the hardest for me to manufacture because I do not know how to dispense a puissant sentence after “Hey Guys” so, do not judge me so hard alright? I am attempting to make everything fall like a cascade of water – smooth and crystal-clear. 

Oh, and it’s currently raining outside, what a transcendent time to blog and read!

I had researched this topic on myriad websites and I will link the ones that gave me solid ideas on what I will be conversing on below to give them commendations for their crafts. Moreover, I will (maybe?) take quotes from the websites that I have mentioned and assert my own opinions on this topic as well. In addition, I will furnish you with statistics on the sides that people had placed their coins on. So, without further ado, let us get into today’s topic!


First of all, I would fancy conceiving a contrast between the time and length of a novel to the time and length of a movie. The time necessitated watching a film is normally more succinct than the time required to read and complete a full-length novel unless you are a remarkably agile reader. This happens due to the fact that a movie can only fit in so much important detail and discard the rest to fit a normal movie-length whereas a book can furnish the readers with character depth, developments, intricate details, sub-plots and a plethora of characters to encompass the readers with a more recondite desire to know the world and politics or the magic system in the novel work. However, movies are sometimes better than books because of certain repudiated information that nobody particularly enjoys and the metamorphosis of bad writing in the novel into something astounding in the film can be obfuscating to view but that is a sporadic sight as we are proffer with bad book to movie adaptations most of the time. For example, The Fifth Wave, Allegiant, Paper Towns & City Of Bones (2013) are not the most pleasant movies to watch but they are so much better to read about.

*The paragraph below is a little out of topic but it’s somehow related to the next, so don’t dismiss it!*

Secondly, I would like to announce that movies sometimes portray as a synergist for certain readers similar to me to accumulate novels that we have not hearkened or noticed before we watch the film adaptations of the novels. If the film adaptation is gallantly stunning to watch, it will give us an excuse to grab the novel(s) from the bookstore and start reading it/them or if the film adaptation is horrible, it will also coerce and motivate us to pick the novel up to perceive with our own eyes to judge whether or not the novel is as bad as the film which most of the time, is not. This paragraph, in turn, leads us to the next point.

Reading a full-length novel gives you a better insight into the intricately crafted plotlines than watching a film systematise the plot and the connections between the characters. Due to an overabundance of sub-plots, tension and drama in the characters’ lives, (provided that the author has given a detailed layout of their lives and carefully embedded their personalities and traits in the cleft of their skull) films are unable to render an effect the same as novels could. Therefore, films have to trim the edges and monopolise the critical points furnished from the novels to provide us with a coherent storyline instead of expediting a plethora of plotlines at the screen viewers and making an incongruous hodgepodge with plotlines. I think it’s more restorative to accommodate you with an example: The Harry Potter Movies made advancements towards certain topics that were sequentially left undiscussed in the movies but they were well explained in the novels. Thus, in order to watch the films, you must first read the novels to understand a wider scope of the world and its system.

Speaking of explanations, books make you think and visualise the settings in your head and the plot twists in them can be even more influential than the twists proffer to you in the movies. Unlike films, you have the freedom to decipher the author’s words in any way you want and it also capacitates your imagination to go beyond the wildest corners of your brain. The plot twists may be harder to decode in novels than in films due to a plethora of plotlines blemishing the truth. However, there may be exceptions. For example,  I thought the television series for Sharp Objects obscured the truth better than the novel ever did but I enjoyed both of them nonetheless. 

Lastly, you would exhume more dreamy words or capricious vocabularies from novels than you would in films. The reason behind this is because novels tend to explain and provide you with every little detail of an object or architecture that the protagonist lands his/her eyes on and that requires a lot of words to describe which will most of the time, lead to flowery language and gorgeous purple prose. In contrast, a film could not perform such an act as we are perceiving the surrounding of our protagonist in the film with our bare eyes while the film regurgitates information to its viewers – in other words, spoon-feeding the information to us. 

Well, in conclusion, both of them are for entertainment purposes (or educational purposes) and it is unmistakably up to you to select whichever material you want but I would highly recommend you to pick up the novel before you see the film to experience the vastness of the world, the flowery language, etc. that the author has to offer to you. 

I will now prescribe you with a few “book-to-film or TV series adaptations” that I personally enjoyed for you to chew on during the weekends:

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale (TV series)
  2. Big Little Lies (TV series)
  3. Call Me By Your Name (Movie)
  4. Before I Fall (Movie)
  5. Shadowhunters (TV series)
  6. YOU (TV series)
  7. The Fault In Our Stars (Movie)
  8. The Hunger Games Series (Franchise)

STATISTICS: I am not going to draw a graph because this is not a maths class so you are going to see a rough percentage here: Film – 11%; Books – 74%; Both – 15%. 

Websites that I gained several ideas from:

This is the end of my ‘Books Vs. Movies: Which Version Should You Experience First?’ bookish discussion article!  I hope you all enjoyed it and let me know what genre you tend to go for down in the comment box below! Follow me with your email/WordPress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

19 thoughts on “Books Vs. Movies: Which Version Should You Experience First? | Book Discussion

  1. I think the best book to movie adaptation I’ve seen is The Green Mile. All the way down to the last sentence. The worst (for me) was Dune. A good movie adaptation can get people who normally aren’t avid readers to actually read the book. On the flip side, a poor screen adaptation can steer people away from what is often very good literature. I read Ready Player One after watching the movie (several times). Enjoyed both although a lot of people who had read the book first hated the movie because of how far it strayed from the original story line. For me, I just imagined it as the same story taking place in alternate universes, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Dave! Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll be sure to check out the adaptation for The Green Mile. I have not heard of Dune, do you think the novel is better than the film adaptation of it? Also, I agree that a bad film might stray people away from the novel which is always a sad thing to perceive 😦 // I am glad that you enjoyed Ready Player One 😁


      1. Dune is a 20+ book science fiction series originally started by Frank Herbert in the ’60s (continued by his son, Brian, and sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson after Herbert died in 1986). Basically, the biggest problem I had with the 1984 movie is that they tried to squeeze the first three novels into one movie. A lot of stuff got left out, skipped over, and simply mangled. I enjoyed the novels, but have a hard time even watching the movie when it comes on. Frank wrote the first five novels. After he died, the following books just didn’t hold my interest as well so I can’t really comment on the rest.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe one should read the book first as seeing a film can colour your attitude to the book, making you either eager to read it or put you off it altogether. The author does not write a book to be a movie ( although some of us may hope) It is designed to be read, enjoyed and digested in word form and the words have been chosen deliberately to show the characters and action. When it becomes a film it is mainly a visual medium and the words are secondary. It can still be enjoyed and may even be more exciting but it can never be exactly as the author intended.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. In my opinion, based on my experience, but I don’t follow my own advise anyway, I think watching the movie first then reading the book after would be a much better experience. There were movies I was disappointed with whose books I’ve already read, and realize in hindsight, I probably would not have been disappointed in them had I not read the books. I don’t want to go into a cinema to be disappointed. Coming in with no expectations seems like the better option and I’m able to appreciate the movie as a movie and not as a version of a story I’ve already imagined in my head. However, I told myself this, but still read the harry potters books and so found myself disappointed with all the harry potter movies that everyone loved. This is just one example. It’s all about managing expectations, I guess. And it’s probably just me LOL.

    On the other hand, I’ve watched movies that I enjoyed or maybe just meh, and ended up enjoying the books when I read them after.

    There are books I’ve read first that I didn’t like but turned out liking the movie, but this experience is rare.


  4. This is a very interesting post. I usually try to read the book before watching the film (sometimes it isn’t easy to do it because, as you wrote, reading takes time – and my TBR pile is very long – and I may end up watching the film before getting my hands on the books).

    Happy readings! 😉
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Quite an analysis, Max! I think books and movies each do different things a bit better than the other. Books get into the heads of characters much better, a difficulty for movies, since we usually have to infer thoughts through action or dialogue. Movies provide a visual feast, that only a great writer can hope to match. Either medium can build suspense well, in the hands of a good artist.
    Thanks for the thoughtful post! I’m enjoying your blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Great discussion! I particularly like your point about the film being more succinct to experience than reading the book. I was particularly struck by this after having finished rereading Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. I sat down and watched the movie and what had taken me several days to experience in the book was over in mere hours! The result was I felt somewhat cheated by the minimal and passive effort I had to exert. I think this is mostly due to how close together I experienced both forms!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I use to have the mind set to read the book first and that the book is better then the movie. Until someone I know told me that he watch the movie before reading the book. That way he can appreciate the movie as it own art form separate from the book. That right there changes everything for me. There are movie I like just as much as the book it base on.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s