Reader reflects on why books are better than movies

As I was sitting in the theater waiting to watch Life of Pi, I kept wondering how the director would take such a great book and turn it into a movie. I was a huge fan of the book, and although I thought it would be hard to base a movie on Life of Pi, I decided to go see it anyway.

While waiting for the movie to begin, I heard people around me talking about how they thought it was about animals. Clearly, these people had not read the book. By the end of the movie, some of these people were crying because Pi made it to shore. Meanwhile, I was sitting in my seat, furious because the book had just been butchered.

Books are always better than the movie spinoffs. Whenever I go to a movie after I’ve already read the book, I come out criticizing the movie. After finishing the book, I have an image of how everything is going to look, and then I get to the movie and everything is different. I continue to criticize the movie for weeks because I don’t agree with the director’s interpretation. I continue to go see these movies to see the how the director approaches them, but they never stack up to the book.

Movies also allow less room for imagination than books. The viewer is simply seeing the image that the director has created, rather than interpreting the author’s words on his own. Books also take hours and hours of time to read, while movies only take a couple of hours to watch. The detail is elaborate in books, while movies have to settle for only a fraction of the technicality. For example, in the Hunger Games series, I had an intense idea of what the arena would look like. In the movie, the basic plot was the same, but the details of each character, the arena and the emotional strain on the characters wasn’t as great.

Readers can also take different sides on books so discussion can go on forever. I have sat around for hours discussing a book with friends and learning new points of view. In the end, I believe that people should always read the book before seeing the movie so they can form their opinion. Movies are, of course, fun to see, but they will never provide the same experience as books can.