Movies vs. Books : Which do you prefer?

One writer’s opinion on the time-old debate.

Harry Potter, Ophelia, Katniss Everdeen, Thomas and Elizabeth Bennett. All of these characters were created by the great minds of some of the most famous writers. As modern times have moved away from the time-old tradition of pen and paper, many of the works by famous authors like Jane Austen or J.K. Rowling have been turned into movies for the masses. 

As more and more written works are being turned into movies, there has been growing controversy on whether the traditional book or modern films are better. There is a lot to think about when deciding which you prefer. From personal interest to the amount of detail incorporated into the story, there are many aspects to both that cause someone to prefer one over the other. 

Personally, I find that books offer a lot more when it comes to creating a story. One of my favorite series, “The Maze Runner” by James Dashner, was finally turned into a movie and I was disappointed to say the least. 

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox | Cover of the film “The Maze Runner”

Many of the key aspects of the book had been taken out or changed to make the story fit into a movie. I don’t just mean silly little details that don’t have any impact on the overall story, I mean details that completely change the course of events in the story. 

I also find that when I’m reading, being able to imagine the characters and setting for myself is more appealing than having them be laid out for you as a movie would. In some ways, it’s almost as if a movie is the moment that disappointment sets in. 

As a reader I spend months, maybe even years, thinking about the story and characters I’ve grown attached to waiting for the movie to come out. Once I’ve seen the movie, I’m almost instantly disappointed. It’s like waking up from a dream and a wave of reality crashes over you. 

I think that this comes from the lack of detail in many movies. As the standard length of a movie is between an hour and a half and three hours, there is a lot that has to be cut out for the sake of time. 

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox | Cover of the film “The Maze Runner”

To this I ask, why are we still turning books into movies? It seems to make more sense to have books turned into T.V. shows. The way in which the transition could be made is rather simple. One book is one season, one chapter is one episode. 

Why is this not the new norm? Why do we still settle for quickly made and unfulfilling movies? Sure there are great films out there and they do an amazing job of telling a story, but you can’t deny that adaptations of novels and book series often fall short of the hopes many may have had for the adaptation. 

In short, there is a lot for those working to adapt our favorite books to fit on the big screen. By moving away from today’s norm, there’s a greater chance of adaptations being more appealing and less disappointing in the future.