Read The Book Or Watch The Movie First

To read the book or watch the movie first? This is one of those questions that comes up over and over again when a movie comes out that was made based on a book (or book series). It’s always interesting to discuss this with other book lovers, as the opinions varies. Heck there are even people who say they never want to watch the movie – or they’re only watching movies and not reading the books at all. Btw this can be easily applied to TV series as well that are made based on books.

Personally I love reading first the novels (I’m a bookaholic afteral) and when the movie (or TV show) based on the said book(s) comes out, I watch it as well, either by going to the cinema, or waiting till it’s available on DVD and then buy it or rent it. But I always watch the movie as well, and this is why.

Often the movies follow closely the happenings in the books (like the Harry Potter series), but sometimes the movie departs from the book quite strongly, like it happened with the Dexter book vs the TV series. While the first season followed the first novel relatively closely, from the second season on, it took a life of it’s own. This means that I got a double enjoyment out of reading the books and watching the TV series as well: it was like reading and seeing completely different things.

Some of my friends say that reading the books after watching the movie is kind of boring, and I do understand where they’re coming from.

When you read a book that is totally new to you, it is all left to your own imagination. You read the story and you have your own visual image about it in your mind. But if you watch the movie first, the visuals are served to you on a platter, so when you want to read the book afterwards, you can’t but remember the actors playing the roles in the film, the settings, the places, events, clothing they wore. Then the book becomes but a mere shadow of the film.

And this is indeed one of the main reasons why I do prefer reading first the books and then watching the movie, and it’s fun and amusing to see how the film changed from the book.

The Mortal Instruments movie
The Mortal Instruments movie

Now granted, there is one exception to this. I’ve just watched the new movie based on Cassandra Clare’s paranormal mystery series called The Mortal Instruments 1: City of Bones. I have to admit that somehow I never read this series before, even though I love a good paranormal mystery novel (especially when it’s more mystery than just cheesy romance in it).

As soon as I watched it, I hopped over to Amazon and bought the all 5 books in the series boxed. I’m reading the first one just now and so far it’s awesome!

This is quite unusual for me, but it is one of those things where the movie made me aware that there is a book series to check out, which I did.

Having said that, when the second movie comes out based on the second novel in The Mortal Instruments series, I’ll have already read all the books in the series by then – so it will be business as usual for me: first read the books and then watch the movies.

Btw if you haven’t read the books yet, there is a great deal going on right now with all the 5 books offered as a gift set, which is perfect to give as gift to anyone who loves paranormal book – or to pamper yourself or a change. This is a Kindle set (as this is exactly what I bought to read on my iPad through the Kindle app), but there is also available in paperback or hardcover for any series collector.

So when it comes to reading the book vs watching the movie, what do you do? Which one you tackle first?

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  1. I have usually always read the book first. I like to go into a movie with a critic’s eye looking for what they left out or changed and was it justifiable. Being an author, it’s the least I can do for my fellow author’s to pay homage to their work of words before others hash, slash, delete and rewrite. =)

  2. I always try to read the book first. I’m always disappointed when I watch the movie first then read the book.

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