Would you rather escape into a novel or a film?

If you had to choose between reading books and watching movies, what choice would you make?
This is a thought that drifted across my mind last week after watching a film based on a novel. I went out to purchase the book a few days later, even though I loved the movie I left feeling like something was missing.
I am one of those people who has often read the book first and, aside from Harry Potter, is disappointed with the movie. Lately, if a movie adaptation has been created and I haven’t yet read the book I watch the movie first and then go out and buy the book, simple to avoid this feeling. I find that I enjoy the book more even though I know the plot because there is so much depth in a 300-page book that couldn’t be condensed into a 120minute movie.
I wasn’t always this picky. Once upon a time I could simply enjoy both because they met my need to be entertained. Now, having learnt a lot about the art of storytelling and the fundamentals of what is need to make a believable, well-rounded world that is entirely real to its audience, I find myself disappointed more often, particularly in movies.
I had the opportunity to learn to write movies, at the time I turned it down through fear but I reflect knowing that I would have had trouble writing for the screen. I yearn to delve deep into a story world, one that consumes and transports, when I write just as when I read. My struggles with many a movie is that I find myself still in my seat and not inside the character’s world instead.
So, if I had to make a choice, despite loving the powerful storytelling that can be achieved on film, I would choose books. I have before and I would again. My only hope is that others continue to choose the escape-into-someone-else’s-mind just as often as they choose to watch an adaptation on the screen so the art of paperbacks is one that continues long after we have robot cars and chips in our brains.

2 thoughts on “Would you rather escape into a novel or a film?

  1. Same! I’m such a Potterhead, but I don’t see why so many people worship the films the way they do (they are enjoyable, but not the best they could be). And I would also join you in escaping into books over films…the unknown possibilities are more compelling in books:)

    Liked by 1 person

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