The Booking Through Thursday question for today is:
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?
I think the biggest difference is that you can get more depth from a book. You don’t expect to finish it in 2-3 hours, so there is more time to explore backgrounds, connections, implications, meanings. And because it lasts longer there is more time to enjoy it. As a general rule, reading a book is a much richer experience than watching a movie.
Another difference is that reading a book is usually a solitary experience. You can discuss it with others after (or during) reading it, and to me that increases the enjoyment and learning from it, but the actual reading of it is something you pretty much have to do alone. That’s not a bad thing in itself, but sometimes you want the shared experience of watching a movie together.
A movie also has visual impact. Though my imagination is at work when I am reading, stunning scenic visuals or subtle empressions can greatly enhance what is going on in a movie — and conversely, if the scenes are too dark or obscure or the characters are lacking in expression, the visual impact lessens the enjoyment.
Though this question is more about comparing the two types of media and not about books translated into movies as we previously discussed in the Celluloid edition, if I see a movie based on a book I have read, I am often disappointed at the changes made or the scenes left out. If I am watching it with someone who is not familiar with the story, I feel I need to supplement what we’re watching with what I remember from the book because they’re just not getting the whole picture, the full impact, the subtleties. Sometimes that is welcome; sometimes it’s not. 🙂 But if I am watching a movie based on a book I have not read, if I enjoyed it, quite often I will seek out the book later on to get more of the story.