Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Discussing the Antidote (1): To Read Or Not to Read Books Before Their Movie Premiers

This is like my Book Blogger Confessions feature, but I figured I needed to update the name to fit the blog.

I watched a scene from the Vampire Academy movie that's coming out February 7th that was really awesome and totally made me want to see the movie even more, and then I read a comment that said they were disappointed by the scene and they hadn't pictured it that way. But that's the problem, isn't it? I forced myself not to read City of Bones before seeing the movie, but I knew the book so well that I could easily pick out the parts that were different. Luckily, I've only read the Vampire Academy books once. It's not that I don't love the books, because I totally do, but I can only take the heartbreak of the middle books every five years (yes, I did just make up that number). Why I'm choosing not to read the first book before I see the movie is for the very same reason I was saddened by the comment that was made on the clip. If I read the before I go see the movie, I'm going to be analyzing it and comparing it constantly to the book without even realizing it. And I know from experience that I will enjoy the movie much less if I read the book before seeing it changed. I know it'll be changed. Even if the director followed the book down to the last flower on the table, it still wouldn't be what every reader wants because we all see the characters and settings different in our head. I've learned to separate the movie from the book, and I think that's what everyone else needs to do as well. It's not going to be exactly what you wanted, or what anybody wanted to the tee. It is a rendition of the book, skewed by a new perspective. You don't see the authors, the people that have created these worlds we love so much, complaining much when something is changed. And since they're the experts on their own literature, maybe you need to take a step back and take the movie for what it is: a movie. Not a book, a movie. Some things translate over art forms, but much of it doesn't, and artists work on different mediums.

I guess my point is that I'm not going to read Vampire Academy before seeing the movie because I want to see the movie as its own separate entity. Otherwise, I'll drive myself insane! And I will not read The Fault in Our Stars before the movie, nor read Divergent before the movie. I'll have to read The Maze Runner before it comes out because I've never read it before and I want to have read the book before the movie. But if it's one of my favorite books being made into a movie, I want to keep my mind separate and knowing everything that happens in the book is not going to help that. You're just making yourself dislike the movie before even seeing it.

Was that ranty enough for you?

Do you re-read books before you go see the movie? Let me know in the comments!


  1. I actually don't re-read books before I watch the movie. But I do always read the book first, just once, because I don't like picturing the actors in my head. When I go watch the movie, I knit-pick it to death, but I never dislike it. I always end up loving the movie. Great post! I never think about this topic, but I'm glad you chose to discuss it.

  2. I try to treat them as separate entities, too. I did want to try to re-read VA before the movie though just for fun, but I don't know if I'll have time.

  3. This is a hard one... I always try to read the book before the movie. As for the VA I don't know yet... I have never really been interested in reading that book, so I am not sure if I'll read it before the movie or just go. It is hard though not to compare book to move that's for sure!

    Angela's Anxious Life


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