Books are better than movies

There are very few absolutes in life, but one of the most concrete facts is this: Books that are turned into movies are never as good as the books.

Think of a book. It doesn’t have to be a novel or some timeless piece of literature, but think of a book that you’ve read cover to cover on more than one occasion. Chances are, if you’ve thought of such a book, it is one that you love. Not like, but love. It takes time to read a book, especially a good book. Now here’s the big question: Have they made a movie of this book of yours yet? If they haven’t, you should be running around doing somersaults and cartwheels. If they have, then welcome to the saddest party on earth.

There are very few exceptions to the rule mentioned above, the one pertaining to books being better than movies. In all honesty, not many come to mind, but there are passable exceptions. The “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings” movies were fair representations of the books and they are generally accepted as successes by the most ardent fans of the books. But, for every success there are many more failures.

Is it so hard to follow the story lines that have already been established by a book’s author when it comes to making a movie? We have all voraciously devoured a book only to see it ruined when it was transferred to the “silver screen.” Why make changes? Obviously the book was good enough to draw the attention of some Hollywood mogul type, so the author must have done something right, but this never seems to be enough once the producers and such get their hands on a book’s rights. Entire sections cut out, horrible castings, altered endings, the list of transgressions is endless. It makes you wonder if the knuckle-dragging money-makers bothered reading the original book at all.

So, here’s a nickel’s worth of free advice: If you know a movie is based on a book, do yourself a favor and read the book. Odds are the book will be cheaper than the cost of a movie ticket, and yes it will take more time to read the book, but it will be better for you in the end. Maybe in a few years, Hollywood will get the general idea and follow the rubric that’s already laid out for them, but for now it is just a waste of time to see a movie that follows the release of a book. Besides, reading is better for you in the long run.