Read It First … But Sometimes I Cheat

Read It 1stOkay, I’ve been thinking of this for quite a few days because the last two movies I watched were based on books. I knew they were based on books, and I did not read the book first before seeing the film, despite the fact that I have signed the pledge to Read It 1st.

I am usually a big believer of reading books before seeing the movies. Usually, if I don’t like the book, I don’t even bother to watch the movie. I love seeing a filmmaker’s adaptation of a book I’ve just read, seeing the characters come to life.

… But sometimes I don’t end up reading the book first before seeing the movie. Sometimes it’s unintentional like when I saw the movie Practical Magic a few weeks ago. I didn’t know it was based on an Alice Hoffman novel up until I saw it in the opening credits! Who knew?! Not me, obviously.

But there are other times like this past week where I knew, and I purposely did not pick up the book beforehand. Why? Well, let me tell you:

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

The Woman in BlackOkay, I’ll be the one to admit that this book will probably be way too scary for me. I pride in having a very overactive imagination. I think reading and formulating the images in my head is a lot scarier than seeing the movie adaptation.

Plus, there’s also the fact that I simply did not have the time (excuses right?). But I wasn’t planning on seeing an advanced screening of The Woman in Black. I had 24-hours notice and I was starting school the next day.

So I watched the movie without reading it 1st. *hangs head in shame* Unfortunately, this is one of those instances where the movie does nothing to convince me to pick up the book. Why? It is simply too scary. Seriously. I had nightmares. The book would only make my nightmares 10 times worse. :P

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Mansfield ParkI surprisingly have not seen this one yet. I was pretty sure I had gone through all the Austen film adaptations I could get my hands on a few years ago, but it seems that I had looked over this one. I watched Mansfield Park on a whim. I had an exhausting weekend and I just wanted to veg out in front of my computer while I ate brunch.

And oh my god. I could not believe how good it was. Like seriously, I was thinking to myself: I think I might like this more than Pride & Prejudice.

I do not usually pick up classics. I find them tedious to read and I’m never in the mood to pick one up. But Mansfield Park blew me away and now, I absolutely cannot wait to pick up the book. I have seriously been missing out!

So I guess what I’m basically trying to say is that sometimes, watching the movie first isn’t so bad, because sometimes, it convinces me to pick up a book that I never would have thought to. Now that I think about it, the last time I picked up a classic that was not for class was Jane Eyre. My motivations to read that had also been driven by the 2011 film.


What do you think? Do you always watch the movie or read the book first? Or both?


  1. The Woman in Black was SO creepy. I thought I wouldn’t be too scared since I’ve watched so many horror films (and I even took a class on them!), but I found that the night after I was unable to sleep. It was really slow-paced, but definitely creepy. I actually liked it.

    1. OH MY GOSH! I couldn’t sleep either!!! I actually forced myself awake because my dreams were getting too scary. My imagination was going wild! Haha, wow. I’m really happy to hear that fans of scary movies think it’s scary too and I’m just not a wimp. :P Haha.

  2. So glad to hear Mansfield Park was a good movie… because I picked up the book and the first page is one solid paragraph. I promptly put it back down, LOL. Maybe I’ll try it again in the future…? :P

    1. That’s why sometimes I watch the movie first when it comes to classics. It’s a lot easier to tackle to book when I know the general idea and I know I’m going to like it. :) Good luck though!

  3. It depends with me. I loved watching movies of books I’ve read, but I also like watching movies based on books I haven’t read – a lot of classics fall into that category. I feel bad sometimes for watching the film before reading the book, but I just shove it down and tell myself the book will be better anyway.

    My one exception was that I saw the American adaptation of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” before reading the book. The movie was so good, I immediately started reading it as soon as I got home. The unfortunate news was that the movie was just…way better than the book. I haven’t seen the Swedish version yet, but it’s probably going to be even better!

    1. LOL! Wow, I guess I’m missing out… Dragon Tattoo I thought was a pretty good book but I didn’t like the characters enough to read the rest. I also didn’t like it enough to see the movie, but I guess I’m missing out. :P

  4. Oh my gosh, Mansfield Park was so GOOD. I love Jonny Lee Miller! Have you seen him as Knightley in the Emma miniseries? He was brilliant.

  5. I loved The Woman in Black (the book). I’m a huge wimp, and while I was scared, I was able to handle it. The main character has a dog with him, and that helped make it a lot less scary. Was there a dog in the movie?

    1. Yes! There was a dog in the movie during the part where he stays overnight at the house. Then when morning comes, the dog just doesn’t end up in any scene in the movie after that. Hm.

    1. I haven’t seen the movie The Woman in Black, but I did see it play on the West End in London. Oh man, was it scary! The staging was amazing. The Woman in Black would pace around the stage, while other characters were having a scene and stare right at you in the audience… creepy!!! I couldn’t sleep either – I don’t think I could bear to see the movie.

  6. I looooved that Mansfield’s Park film adaptation! I hadn’t read the book before and didn’t know what to expect, but it was amazing.

    As for Jane Eyre, I really enjoyed the 2011 film, and the 2005 BBC series, but can’t say the same for the book, haha. I found it long and dreary.

    1. What, seriously? Well, okay, I can definitely see why you didn’t enjoy Jane Eyre. To be honest, if I wasn’t so determined to read it, I probably would have given up 1/4 through the book It’s REALLY dreary up until she meets Mr. Rochester and then I was just determined to read on to see a Happily Ever After. :P

      I did like the 2011 film as well, but I have yet to see the BBC series. I have to get to that soon.

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