Book or Movie

Jennifer FlatenThis post by Jennifer Flaten

We are a family of readers. We all have our favorite genres, but every once in a while a few of us, or all of us, read the same book.

Between the five of us, I think we’ve read the Harry Potter series about ten times. My son and I have read the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit and the girls have read several of the same books.

Even my husband and I read the same books…although I usually find the book first and nag…errr gently encourage my husband to read the book so I have someone to talk to about it.

Whatever configuration of us that is reading the same book can be counted on to break into an impromptu book club. I can’t tell you how happy I am that my kids can find a book so engaging, mesmerizing, puzzling, annoying or stupid that they want to TALK about it.

Naturally, when a book we’ve read is turned into a movie we want to see it. Sometimes we see the movie so many times I want to ban it from the house. Go ahead; ask me if we own Harry Potter…we do the complete DVD set. openbook-jeltovski-morguefile-file0001600613437

Anyway, this is how I found myself in the theatre at 10am on a spring break Thursday watching Divergent.

My son, actually, is the one who first picked up Divergent. He liked it so much, he insisted (really insisted) that I read it. I read it and liked it. So, now he and I are eagerly anticipating reading books two and three. We just have to get them from the library, currently we are 134 on the wait list. I will probably crack and buy them…but don’t tell my son that.

The girls weren’t too sure about seeing the movie without reading the book. I told them not to worry because sometimes it is better to see the movie without reading the book. Otherwise, you spend the whole movie either anticipating key scenes or pouting that your favorite scene has been deleted or rewrote to the point of not making sense. Both of which I did during the movie.

Don’t worry I am not going to review the movie here, but with that said, I will say it is a long movie. The longest movie I’ve sat through in a while. In all fairness, we go to a lot of animated movies, which always have short run times. I could have reread the entire book in the movie’s run time. So if you go be prepared to sit for the long haul.

Everyone enjoyed the movie, but of the girls, who didn’t read the book, one now wants to read the book(s), the other has no intention of reading the book(s).

So how about you, do you go to movie versions of books you haven’t read?

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10 thoughts on “Book or Movie

  1. It is easy for me to say I will see a movie whether I read the book or not, and vice/versa. Overall I do the two for completely different reasons. Having been in the ‘acting/directing’ business for awhile that is what I focus on in the movies. As a writer/reader the focus is completely different. Still what a blessing to have a family that loves books. YEAH! Doris


  2. Interesting question. I usually like to read novels before I see movies based on them. It’s about getting the “real” story before seeing the adaptations. I’m sometimes disappointed with the movie of course. Some books, like Atonement, seem impossible (to me) to adapt to the screen, so I end up being extremely impressed with the screenwriters’ accomplishment.


  3. If I love a book that gets turned into a movie, I have to go see it. Sometimes I’m disappointed, but not always. I actually thought they did a great job with Divergent, but it’s been a while since I read the book. The Hunger Games movies have been very well done too, I think. Occasionally, if I see the movie first, I might like it better than the book, but that’s rare. It is wonderful that you have a family that reads and talks about books together. Very cool!


  4. Good post Jennifer. You are lucky to have trained your readers to discuss books with you. All kidding aside, what a wonderful thing to have children (and a husband) who like to read. My mom and dad loved to read and since I came along first they read to me and I became a real bookaholic. My next sister also loves to read and we exchange books often. My other two siblings aren’t much for reading. My children didn’t like to read, which has always been sad and strange to me, since I read to them constantly. My husband would rather watch TV. But he is very kind and doesn’t say anything when I have my nose in a book and burn dinner. I’ll go to a movie if I haven’t read the book. I’ll also read a book if I haven’t gone to a movie. p.s. The Harry Potter series was one of my favorite and I have read the books and seen the movies you’d think I’d be tired of them by now. Not!


  5. I am so impressed to hear of your family being such avid readers, Jennifer. Well done, all! i just wish there were many more out there and this is the ex-teacher in me talking and not the current author. I don’t see so many movies these days but I alwasy try to keep my mind ‘open’ between the film version and the book and try to find likeable things in both. Usually the book wins, but just sometimes there’s something about the movie that hits home just that little bit more.


  6. I’m the only true reader in my house but my daughter went to a birthday party where they went to see Divergent and she loved it so much she is now voluntarily reading the book. I am so pleased. Generally I prefer the book version to the movie but that doesn’t make all movie versions bad. Harry Potter, for example, is much better in book form but the movies are awesome, too. Thanks for a great post.


  7. Wonderful post, Jennifer — thank you for sharing your family and interests with us! I’m not much of a movie person so I don’t go very often but I will sometimes go see a movie that’s been made from a book, and I watch some tv shows that are made from books (Cedar Cove, Longmire, etc). I’m looking forward to seeing “Heaven is for Real” — I truly enjoyed the book — I think movies such as these are so rare and so I am happy when they are made.


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