Okay, 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
Okay, 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.
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
I 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?