Sunday, July 19, 2015

8 Reasons Books Are Better Than Movies

"I liked the book better."

"That's not how it goes in the book."

"They left out this really awesome part from the book..."

With all these book to movie adaptations, almost every fangirl has uttered some version of those lines. Because let's face it: as much as we may love the blockbuster versions of our favorite stories, books are (almost) always better than movies.

Here are 8 randomly organized reasons why. (Ironically, I'm typing this post while I watch the movie Thor for the fortieth time. Don't judge me.)
  1. You can take books anywhere. True, movies are now portable, thanks to tablets and smartphones, but then you have to worry about storage, data plans, wifi, battery life, headphones... Books don't need to buffer, be charged, or have the volume adjusted. They are the ultimate anytime, anywhere entertainment. (See below, of Tom Hiddleston demonstrating the power of reading on pubic transportation.)
2. If you need to get up for snacks or a bathroom break, you won't miss any scenes in a book. Sure, you could pause a movie, but if you're watching it with other people, you don't want to be that person. It's never awkward to stop a book. 

3. You can read a book little by little. No one puts in a movie to watch one scene, and then stop. (At least no one I've ever met.) Typically, movies are meant for one sitting; books can either be devoured at once, or spread out bit by bit. 

4. By the same token, books are more immersive than movies. They tend to have more details, and since they take longer to finish, we get to explore more of the fictional world. Movies can only show so much; books are filled with extra "behind-the-scenes" bits that make us true citizens of these other worlds. The first time I watched Divergent, I kept pausing to explain extra facts about the factions to my family. Movies can't explain things in the same way books can. 

5. You can only replay a scene so many times. With books, you're free to reread that epic or sentimental moment until it's ingrained in your memory. You can also save your favorite lines a lot more easily.

6. Books  give more screen time to secondary characters. Finnick Odair is my favorite character in the Hunger Games, and although he's awesome in the films, they don't do him justice the same way the books do. Because the art of film is different than the art of literature, movies typically follow the main character and story arc. Books are better at dealing with subplots, and thereby secondary characters. We get to see more backstory in novels, and therefore come to feel more deeply. A side note: if you haven't read the Hunger Games, do it. Do it for Finnick. 

7. With books, you are the casting director. You never have to put up with your least favorite actor playing your favorite character. The decision is yours, and you can totally picture every male lead as Tom Hiddleston or Sebastian Stan. (Or whomever it is your little heart fancies.)

8. Books are the start of great stories. No one watches a movie and thinks, "This should be turned into a book." No, we read books and then daydream about them becoming movies. (Movies we will inevitably like less than their bookish counterparts, yet we want anticipate them nonetheless.)

So there you have eight reasons why I prefer books to movies... Not that I have anything against movies. They just don't stack up the same way as books.

Do you prefer books to movies? What are your favorite and least favorite book to movie adaptations? If you're a fellow book lover, be sure to join in on the Fangirl Initiative's Summer Reading mission


  1. DO IT FOR FINNICK. (can I get that on a t-shirt?)

    Also, I will take your advice & picture every male lead as Tom Hiddleston & Sebastian Spam, combined. Hahahah, just kidding, that would be weird.

    In other words, this post is definitely epic, I agree with everything, and despite how often I complain about book-to-movie adaptations, I do anticipate them every time. Luckily, I'm not always let down.

    Oh, Good choice of photos ;)

    1. I want that t-shirt, too! Let's go into business designing them! :D

      Somebody did a photo morph of Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth, and the result definitely was not unattractive. I may or may not try to combine Tom & Sebastian now haha.

      I'm so glad you liked the post, and the photos. It was definitely a sacrifice having to sort through gifs of Finnick & Sebastian Stan, but someone has to do it.

  2. Yesh! This post is the truth! My favorite book to movie adaption is LOTR because it was pretty darn epic, but I'm still really sad about all the good bits they missed. )-: Still, I think they did a really good job as they only had three hours per film XD.
    And Tom Hiddleston reading on the train. Perfect.

  3. I actually do like movies a little bit better than books, but you do make some really good points here! Still, I think some of the items you mentioned depend on how a director cuts a film, rather than the actual property of all movies. For example, focusing on secondary characters doesn't always happen in books, and sometimes in movies they are really well done. But, overall, good points!

  4. 1. Agreed.
    2. I don't have a problem with pausing a movie, even if I'm watching it with my friends. We rather watch movies that we all already seen (for example, The Lion King marathon :D). In that case, there isn't even need to pausing. BUT! For me, "pausing" a book is annoying and frustrating. I always need to read to the end of sentence/paragraph/chapter/whole book... No matter that I'm hungry, I'm sleepy and I need to pee - now I'm reading, everything else is less important.
    3. As I said before - I hate "pausing" a book. And... well, I watched few movies scene by scene. I mean - one day 30 minutes, another 30 minutes the next day. Okay, that was one movie - "The man of steel". I was... just bored, but I said to myself that I must watch it. And I watched, after a week or so ;)
    4. I agree... and I don't. I'd rather say - that depends. Some movies have it, some books don't, and vice versa.
    5. Well, usually the most epic movie scenes are on YouTube ;) For example, my all-times favourite fight-scene from Netfix's Daredevil. So... it depends too ;)
    7. Also true. I watched the "Inkheart" movie, but... I simply don't remember faces of actors! I just imagined Dustfinger and the rest in my own way - even watching the movie didn't destroy it :) But for example Frodo or Harry Potter will be always Elijah Wood and Daniel Radcliffe for me.
    8. Not-quite-so. I think it also depends :)

    9. For me, movies and TV-shows are more emotionally engaging than books. After watching the Red Wedding episode of Game of Thrones, I cried and coudn't be calm for about an hour after ending that episode (and I even don't like... the guys who died there xD *no spoilers :)*). But all that deaths in books? Uh-oh, no, nope, nein, nothing. I mean - I FELT something, but I never cried when reading a book. Movies are more terrifying, more funny, more gripping. ("The Shining" - book vs. movie, 0:1!).
    But maybe that's just me :)

  5. It's so true that no one watches a movie then thinks, "THIS SHOULD BE A BOOK." It's always the opposite, because it's much easier for a slightly summarized screenplay to be written of a complex book than to write a complex book (with a bunch of explanatory scenes) from a movie.