Books and films both tell stories, but what we want from a book can be different from what we want from a movie. Is this true for you? If so, what’s the difference between a book and a movie?

For me one of the biggest differences is my ability to get inside a character.  With movies, the viewer is somewhat dependent on the actor´s/actress’s ability to portray emotions, thoughts, and attitudes.  In contrast, a book can tell us exactly what the character is thinking and feeling.   I’ve realized lately that many of my favorite books are my favorites because of the strength of the characters, so this is important to me.  I think movies can sometimes set a scene a bit more dramatically because they are that much more visual.  Storms for example, come to life in a movie.  Movies can take us places we’ve never been before.  Books can as well, but I have to imagine what Ireland or Rome looks like whereas a movie can show it to me.  Books can allow you to imagine certain elements the way you want to.   Movies can add sound effects and music to set the mood and add drama.  Sometimes movies can show us way more than we really wanted to see even if the story it is telling is worthwhile.  At the same time, movies can be limited in what they are able to portray (imaginary animals and locations, for example, though with computer technology movies are able to portray more and more) .  I think from both movies and books what I want is to get into the story.  To experience life or a situation through someone else’s eyes.  To be scared, or laugh, or cry, or remember what it’s like to fall in love.   To think about something different than my daily life.  I love the use of language and words in books – movie dialouge can be great too, but words are generally more of a strength in books – and that is probably why I would almost always choose reading a book to watching a movie.  What about you?

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4 Responses to “Booking Through Thursday: Books vs. Movies”

  1. gautami tripathy Says:

    With books I get involved with story and the plot. With movies, I simply watch.

    Here is my BTT post!

  2. Sally Says:

    I always like to read the book first if possible. I think I will go see Prince Caspian though because I can’t get into the book – I also hear it’s more violent and didn’t do as well at the box office as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. But being the loyal C.S. Lewis fan that I am – I will go see the movie.

  3. Amy Says:

    I think books can take me places I’ve never been, depending on the skill of the author. Historical fiction would be a great example of this, I’ve never been to certain places in time, but a gifted historical writer can make that time period come to life for me. And I think it’s more effective than a movie because I don’t miss much when reading, but I can miss some details while watching something.

    I also love character driven, but admittedly I enjoy plot as well. Truth be told, I think serialized television is one of the best places where this happens now..you can have meaty characterization combined with interesting plots like Grey’s Anatomy in the golden days or LOST or The Closer. In fact, I also think dialogue (words!) in television shows can be excellent.

    But anyday, I will choose a book over a movie. I feel a book leaves more open to interpretation and imagination. A book is capable of taking you deep inside the heart of a story. A movie is much more often a small snapshot but not a whole picture. But a movie can also change the way I think about soemthing and get stuck in my head. Like Atonement or The Village were both movies I thought about for days afterwards.

    Sorry for the rambling comment! I really love both because I just love story!

  4. Bluestocking Says:

    Movies make the characters so much more one dimentional.

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