Is the book better than the movie?

Delaney McGuire, Reporter

Reading was always one of my favorite activities. There wasn’t a better feeling in the world than coming home and burying myself in the pages of a good book. It became a form of escapism, a way to disconnect.

I fought beside Harry in the Battle of Hogwarts, attended Beth’s funeral alongside the March sisters, defended Tom Robinson in the trial and searched for a golden ticket with Charlie. I felt connected to the characters and confided in them. They were my friends.

As a dedicated reader, I was always excited to learn that one of my favorite books was in the process of being adapted into a movie. I would picture the characters as I had sculpted them in my mind, imagining what they would sound like and how they would think, hoping that when I saw the movie, I would feel this connection.

You can imagine my disappointment when finally watching the movie and realizing that it, in most cases, didn’t meet my expectations.

I would come into the theater full of excitement, ready to observe the slow burn of Percy and Annabeth’s relationship at Camp Half-Blood, dreading the moment Peeta would lose his leg while competing in the Hunger Games.

Instead, I’d receive a cut-up version of the story I was so indulged in.

While both books and movies have different advantages, the books vs. movies debate continues to this day. There have been numerous arguments presented for both sides, and even extensive research done on the topic.

SuperSummary, an online resource that provides study guides for fiction and nonfiction books, wanted to know the answer to a burning question: book or movie? The company asked 2,030 people, ages 23 to 62, to answer questions about books that were turned into movies or TV shows.

The results were close. Overall, 34% of people enjoyed the book, compared to 27% who preferred the movie. Although 82% of those surveyed agreed that “screen adaptations help books come to life,” 46% of people argued that film adaptations “would never be as good as the book.”

Almost 25% declared that movies even ruined the original book.

While I do acknowledge the argument that movie adaptations can help books come to life, I believe that most adaptations don’t live up to the expectations these books are setting, leaving the audience feeling disappointed and unsatisfied.

When making movies, most directors don’t have the author’s intentions in mind. Instead, they are more focused on the business aspect. Films are now commercialized, aiming to sell as many tickets and get as many viewings as possible.

Reading not only has incredible benefits for our mental development, but it also encourages imaginative thoughts and ideas, allowing us to create our interpretation of what the author is saying. We get to see the bigger picture, every minute detail the author intended for the audience to know.

While the books vs. movie debate is far from over, we can continue to encourage viewers to form their own opinions on the discussion. I strongly encourage you to think about a movie you’ve been wanting to see and try reading the book beforehand. Who knows, maybe you’ll even prove yourself wrong?