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January Newsletter: Why Books are Better than Movies – Always

Why Books are Better than Movies – Always

By Vea Anna Hooker

I think there has been a debate about whether the book, or the movie adaptation of it, is better for as long as there have been movies adapted from books. So, let’s start with that. Books came first. First tends to be best, seconds are usually poor imitations of the original. I bet you can tell which side of this debate I am on.

Seriously, at least for me, books will always be better. A book is portable. Yes, I am aware that with modern technology, movies can be portable also. However, books can be read nearly anywhere, without distracting those around you. Even with the sound off, your flickering screen can be a distraction to others.

Books can go into far greater detail than movies. Yes, some of what is written in a book can be portrayed with scenery that doesn’t need to be described, just seen or activity that doesn’t need to be recounted, just shown. This applies to physical appearances, clothing, and facial nuances as well. What we get from books though, that cannot be gotten from movies, is the inner dialogue and emotions that our character experiences. These are things I always want to know. What caused them to act the way they do, why do they feel that emotion rather than another. I always long to know what is going on behind the scenes. Additionally, movies have to fit into a narrow time constraint, so there is much that has to be left out.

I also appreciate putting my imagination to work. When I read, I am in charge of what people look like, how the sur- roundings appear, and how the supporting cast manifests. This includes things like pets, cars, and even trees and flowers. So many times I have watched a movie adapted from a book, with great anticipation, only to come away let down because the director’s vision is so different from mine. I can’t be the only one disappointed when a movie changes the best parts of a book, or leaves them out entirely.

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