By J1 Reporter Marin Krenzer
Every year, many novels are adapted for the big screen. Authors watch as their stories are passed between screenwriters, directors, cinematographers, and studio heads. It’s a different experience to watch the same story unfold on the big screen. Reading a good book or watching a good movie are both popular pastimes, but how preferable is it to do one before the other?
Many people argue that it is always best to read the book first. If a book has a better review than its movie, it’s obvious that you should read the original written form before moving on to the movie interpretation. When you read the book before watching the movie, you realize the importance of seemingly minor details. Film adaptations often leave out crucial information to the plot of the story. When you’re reading a book, it’s almost as if you’re in the story yourself, directing a film adaptation based on your own imagination. A significant issue among fans of authors is that the message of their books is usually ignored in movie interpretations. This is because movie makers want to target a wide audience in order to profit off of the story. As a result, they lose book fans who enjoy the traditional format and want to see the film adaptation measure up to the original story.
This semester I read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. It helped me step away from the screen and enjoy an intriguing story on paper. I felt more relaxed reading the book than I would have watching the movie. I enjoyed the limitless creativity that is impossible to fit in an hour length film. After finishing the book, I was interested to see how the film interpretation modified the story. Despite the continued suspenseful theme, many significant aspects that I enjoyed from the book were left out. It was still an excellent film, but I encourage Marian girls to remember to let their brains rest from screens and relieve stress with a good read.
The most important benefit of reading is the improvement of mental health. Books are proven to be more relaxing; they alleviate depression, anxiety, and stress; they transport you to another world; and they calm your mind and body. Daily reading has been shown to enhance brain communication, improve creative thinking, increase vocabulary and comprehension, and empower readers to empathize with people in their everyday lives. It’s beneficial to your brain and daily life to open a book, expand your knowledge and ultimately improve your mood. However, there are also many advantages to watching movies.
While reading stimulates the imagination, watching a movie allows you to see all of the visualizations you read in the book. Unfolding the story on the big screen gives viewers a visual experience that books cannot.
We are not just amused when we watch a movie; we are also appreciative of something lovely, learning about the environment and ourselves, interacting with communities, and making a positive contribution to the world.
While forming my own opinions on the book or movie debate, I turned to the Marian community to hear their opinions, too. In a survey of 184 Marian girls, 62% preferred reading the book before the movie, 8.7% preferred watching the movie before reading the book, 28.3% preferred to only watch the film, and 1.1% would choose to only read the book.
These surprising results show the importance of understanding a story the way the author intended it to. Based on these responses, the majority of Marian girls prefer the original work!