#POLL: Books before Movies or Movies before Books?

I ask this question now and wonder: can anyone even proudly say they would watch the movie before they read the book?

i dont know gillian anderson GIF

This #POLL is as straightforwards as they come. Are you someone who HAS to read the book before you see the movie, or do you have to see the movie before the book?

OR is it okay to change things up from time to time and see how things play out?

(I’ll say this, when it comes to The Hobbit, I’ll watch the movies but I haven’t been able to finish the book. And I’m on my third try. Oops?)

Leave your vote in the comments below and find out what comes first: the book or the movie?

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125 thoughts on “#POLL: Books before Movies or Movies before Books?

  1. I have almost zero interest in reading a book after seeing the adaptation. I understand that the movie will have some differences from the book, however, I would be hard pressed to think the writers didn’t include the major plot points from the book in the movie, and then, there is no element of surprise. For some reason, I am ok with watching an adaptation after reading a book, because I like seeing how they made certain things come to life, or what they didn’t include.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Now that’s a strong opinion! It’s true for me too that after seeing a movie where I haven’t read the book, I find it hard to go out right away and read the book. But I do find that the majority of the time, the book is executed waaaayy better, so I’ll wait a bit and then check out the book. And then I’ll see depth in the characters the movie missed, or side plots that add to the adventure. But for sure, when it comes to the major plot points, there is no surprise. Reading the book is more to learn additional details about the world that the movie skipped. As for your book-to-movie comment, agreement 1005!

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    1. I think I was so young when Harry Potter (the movies) first came out, I didn’t even realize it was a book at first? Hahahaha. I saw most of the film series before I came to realize there were even books. But otherwise, for me, definitely books first!

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  2. Read the book first!
    Then it is okay to be a snob and say ‘The movie was okay, but the book was better’.

    Good luck with Tolkien. I have been reading those things my whole life. and yes, the movies were okay, but, well, yeah, you know the rest. 😉

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    1. Agreed! I especially don’t like when I go to buy a book *after* it becomes popularized by a movie, and the book has pictures inside “from the movie” or a new cover with the movie actors on it. Like, noooo, I need to picture everything myself!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Although i’m currently reading a book (Brooklyn) after watching its film adaptation, I definitely prefer reading the book first then seeing it on film!

    As for the Hobbit, i’m not a big fan of either book or film adaptation(s).

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    1. I’ll admit to sometimes being too late and only picking up a book after catching the film, but yes, book first!

      Oh no! Not a Hobbit fan? What about Lord of the Rings? Is it the genre or the film/book itself?

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      1. I just didn’t take to the Hobbit films, so I decided to read the book – I was in shock at how much they added to the movies. I was expecting to read about Legolas and co but he didn’t appear in the book at all.

        I do however LOVE The Lord of the Rings movies, I re-watch them whenever I can!

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      2. I could *not* get through the Hobbit (book). But just by looking at the book, it’s clear how much has been added (like, 8 hours worth of movie time and the book is what, 100 pages?). Haha, yeah, Legolas was completely fan service.

        Okay, at least! I adore LoTR. I feel like I see something different every time I watch the movies.

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  4. I read the books first before watching the movie. If I watch the movie first, there may be some spoilers included and the thrill while reading the book will fade because I know the next scenes already.

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    1. Yes, we must never lose the thrill!! I find that even if the you read the book first, you can still experience the thrill when you see the movie, because then the movie adds sound effects, and music, etc. So it ramps up the drama. But the book, you want to imagine it yourself. Just me?

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      1. Yes that’s it but sometimes after wstching the movie disappointment comes especially when high expectations were’nt met. “The book was better,” as the old saying goes

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  5. I have done both, but I prefer seeing the movie before reading the book. I find it’s easier to see the differences between the two and the book always has more then the movie, so if I’m a little confused while watching the movie I know I can read the book after to see the in-between scenes that have been cut from the movie.

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    1. Oooh, I think you’re the first I’ve seen who enjoys the movie first. Interesting how you find it easier to spot differences when reading the book after; that does make sense, since you can go through the book at your own pace. I know for me, it would only drive me insane, because I would just be going “and THIS is what the movie messed up” and “THIS too!!” But of course, I’m a book purist in that regard, so perhaps I’m causing my own frustrations there, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I guess I’d say I’m somewhere in the middle because sometimes I enjoy watching the movie before I read the book or vice versa.

    Sometimes I’ll watch the movie and want to read the book like when I watched Princess Diaries. It all depends on what I’m feeling about each franchise I guess lol 😃

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    1. The Princess Diaries, ahhhh. I can’t even remember if I read the book first or not for that movie.(Please tell me: you agree, books are better for this series, yes?) But actually, that is a good approach. You don’t have to stress so much about fitting in a book before a movie release.

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      1. Ooh, you definitely should. (I’ll tell you right now, I’m forever a bigger fan of the books. They include sooo many hilarious details that the movies missed on. And the love interest, Michael, is a THOUSAND times better in the books.)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, sometimes I think reading the book after will enrich my movie experience so I will still read it. But if the movie wasn’t that good, or I know the reviews for the book weren’t that good, yeah, I’ll skip it too. Glad you liked the post! We do a bunch of polls here at BPR to get the convo started 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think it’s okay to sometimes watch the movie before reading the book. For the most part, if I know there’s a book, I will try to read it before seeing the movie, but there are also cases like with Simon vs the Homosapien Agenda/Love, Simon where I’m not interested in the book, but I want to see the movie.

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      1. I just tend not to like contemporary books without a mental health aspect. I have nothing against the book. It’s just my type of thing. I do tend to like more contemporary movies, though.

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      2. Heeey, I’m pretty in agreement with this! I prefer my contemps with a social justice(IDK how to categorize it) kind of aspect to them. So either LGTBQ+, mental health, environmental justice etc. Makes them way more interesting and thought provoking.

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  8. If I know that I’m not interested in the book, then I’ll watch the movie first to see if I might be compelled to reading the book! Tbh, I watched Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone first, and that was what got me into reading Harry Potter. 😉

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    1. Watching a movie to see if a book is worth the while? I’ll agree a movie is quite faster then the book, haha. I can usually tell from a book blurb if I’ll enjoy or not. But if a movie is really good, even if I hate the book blurb, I *maaaaaayyy* change my mind. So maybe you’re on to something. Maybe. Hahaha. 😉

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      1. Haha it’s a default option! Like, if I know for sure that I won’t have any motivation to read a great book, then I need the extra kick to make it easier 😉

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    1. Huh. So in some cases you would never even watch the movie? Reminds me of how Rick Riordan refuses to see the film adaptations of his books (it’s a wise choice, they butchered his books).

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  9. Book before movie usually, though some films have made me want to read the book, as in the case of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Something like Gone girl works better as a book, however, as massive plot twists come as more of a suprise when turning a page.

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      1. And now they won’t have a chance to go read the book and enjoy the original 😦 Yup, a lot of movies can’t capture the feelings and plot turns that books do, so it’s always a safer bet (if you love reading, at least) to get the book first.

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  10. It depends for me. Sometimes I get a chance to watch the movie or show before I have the book. Other times I will read the book and not care to watch the movie because the book was so good. I read Mrs. Peregrine’s School for Particular Children I loved the books! When I saw the movie I was heartbroken. I don’t chose to not watch a movie before I’ve read the books. It’s all about what I get a chance to do first.

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    1. Was Mrs. Peregrine’s (the movie) not a good representation of the book? I’ll admit to not reading the books, but seeing the movie. And thinking the movie was maybe three stars? Like the plot concept was good but a lot of characters just didn’t get to shine and it felt a bit rushed in bits.

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      1. Everything about the movie was not okay! They changed the characters! Emma was to be a fire peticular. She had this firey attitude that worked well with Jacobs timidness. Olive was the child who levitated. And the storyline doesn’t match with the books. I get they squeezed all the books in to one movie so it had to be rushed but they could have at least kept the characters the same.
        I was left devistated… That movie should have been amazing. It had all the right elements right there in the book.

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      2. Ooohh nooo that sounds terrible! Now I feel ashamed for supporting the movie. (THEY SQUEEZED ALL THE BOOKS IN ONE??? No WONDER the plot felt clunky and rushed!! What a terrible idea.) At least make a Netflix TV show with it, like a series of Unfortunate Events. Seems to me they would have a solid cast of characters to do that with. Now I really want to read the books though, because you’re answering all the frustrations I had with the movie.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. The Stieg Larsen book, ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ was made into movies. The first adaptation, in 2009, is made for the viewing public and varies greatly from the book, but the 2011 version is made for the reading community and is amazingly true to the novel. I did not notice anything different.

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    1. Oh, I didn’t know that they did that! I looooove that kind of concept. If someone (who didn’t read the book) just went to see the 2011 version … would they have reason to dislike it? (Less action, loud noises, idk). Or can we maybe just hope more “closer to the book versions” start to come out?

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      1. I don’t think that a person having not read the book would dislike the 2011 version, but I bet they would like the 2009 version better. I think the reading audience would prefer the 2011. It would be nice if movies were true to the book more often. I can see how a film-maker would want to purposely change a few things, but it is refreshing to see a novel so lovingly recreated. I can think of two other cases where the movie is a faithful rendition of the novel. One is The 1941 film, ‘The Maltese Falcon’. I am a big fan of the author Dashell Hammett, and the novel. The second film that is a true recreation of the novel is the 1934 version of ‘Treasure Island’.

        I do not know what made Film World go ahead and remake that film, {Girl With the Dragon Tattoo} so closely upon the heels of the first, nor what possessed them to do such an homage to the book. I think they intended to produce a trilogy, but the first {2011} film did not make enough $$$, :-/

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      2. I can understand a film-maker wanting to have their own stamp on a piece. And who hasn’t read a book and thought “I think this could be changed and maybe this, and it would be perfect.” Not to mention some things might need to be edited due to time constraints and budget. I suppose it makes sense to model movies first to a filmmakers vision… but with some input from the writer if possible. Like a “to the screen” version, instead of a completely new movie.

        But very interesting to compare the movies intended for book audiences to movie goers alone! I’ll have to see about the Maltese Falcone, it’s been on a movie tbr for me for a while.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. In my humble opinion, books relay tales better than movies A movie is the interpretation of someone else’s story as seen by a director, editor, and or film studio. In some cases, though, I’ve enjoyed the movie version more than the book.

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  13. It’s got to be the book first for me. If not, I run the risk of not liking the actor or actress playing the lead in the movie. Then, when I read the book after, they’re all I can see in my head as I try to visualize this character.

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    1. Oh, I could go oooonnn about the times movies didn’t cast actors/actresses that did my book loves justice. Sometimes a book doesn’t even give me a clear picture of a character, but then I see someone in a movie and I just know it’s *not that*

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  14. I always read the book before the movie! Because I am not a huge movie buff, I would rather have the movie spoiled for me than the book. Books always have so much detail and depth to the story that a movie never portrays correctly. In books I can connect to the characters far easier. I know their deep inner thoughts. Books can also describe the sense of touch, smell, sound, and taste, which allows the reader to imagine themselves as the main character/narrator. Reading a book, I feel like I am a part of the story taking place, whereas in a movie, I am just watching the events.

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    1. I agree, much better to have the movie spoiled than the book! I can’t think of a movie than has been able to explore a character more deeply than a book…? Of course my book love definitely biases me aha. I always connect more to books, we are 100% the same on this point.

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  15. I usually read the book before I see the movie if I can because I tend to like books more. But I also kind of see how it wouldn’t matter as much anymore. Some movies have their own interpretation of the book rather than just having a movie over the book if that makes sense.

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    1. Hey Robin, thanks for commenting! I also tend to like the books more, so I make the same move as you. But movies do have their own interpretations — and some really go out of their way to create an original world separate from the book, so it is also worth it to see what plans a director has in store for a movie before heading to see it.

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  16. I would rather prefer to read a book, but let me add a third option to a poll. Once I was in a theater watching an adaptation of “The Master and Margarita”. Haven’t read the book before I was so impressed of this play and then read the book. Finally, to repeat my experience, I’ve seen that play one more time and got an unique experience of summarizing my feelings both from the book and the theater. That’s why I also think that you should get as reading as watching experience, comparing not with an aim to say “that was better”, but with a possibility to be involved into the story from several points of view.

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      1. You’re welcome!

        That’s the reason I like reading books which have some kind of adaptation to watch. You often stand yourself just after finishing a book without any ways of expand the the author’s vision.

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