Monday, November 3, 2014

What Comes First: Chicken or the Egg? Book Before the Movie?

 While this isn't exactly a question posed since the beginning of time, it is one that evokes a heated response among avid readers. As both a librarian and a passionate reader, I find myself planted firmly on the fence here for several reasons.

1. I won't even begin a debate on which medium is best for storytelling. Both have their merits and limitations. (Though if pressed, I'd pick a book for my taste.)

2. While I suspect that book readers go to see the movie version at a higher rate than movie-first goers reach for the book after seeing a film they enjoy, both routes promote books.

3. Movies bring beloved characters to life in a new way for a reader.

4. Books take you deeper into a world you enjoyed in a film.

What I will concede however, is the advantage books appear to have in film making of late, especially Young Adult titles. The latest batch of book-to-film releases include beloved favorites and newer titles that don't shy away from asking life's tough questions.

There's more happening here than studios wanting a solid return on their investment. (Though with comic book franchise films that is most definitely the case.) I have to believe that someone is reading these stories and recognizing what made these books bestsellers. The best art, in any medium, informs and entertains seamlessly.

For those of you who haven't picked up a YA book in years, I recommend you take a peak into this very popular (and profitable) genre. 

The Harry Potter series is still one of my favorite reads of all time (We named the dog Weasley!). And while I didn't enjoy the films nearly as much as the books, my husband and I are planning a visit to the studio where they made the movies when we visit England next year.

I enjoy the Hunger Games movies thus far, but was disappointed by the Divergent film.

As for John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, I intentionally passed on seeing the film because the book was so emotionally satisfying I didn't want to lose that feeling inside me. My Husky readers still tell me I should see it and perhaps someday I will.

At the end of the day any reading is good reading and I won't judge the road that leads a student to a book. Luckily, all the roads are good right now.

Happy Reading!

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