Essay On Books Vs Movies Which Is Better

I went to see Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters with the Spinebreakers. We all needed to write something on the film and our views on it. I did my research first. I re-read the book, made numerous notes, wrote down everything I wanted to see in the film and brought a notebook into the cinema with me, ready to jot down my thoughts as the film played out before me.

The film was amazing – seriously, it blew me away. It was so, so much better than its prequel, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, and stuck so much closer to the book – something that obviously made me exceptionally happy.

The people who worked on the film... they got a lot of things right. They got the characters, the world, the creatures, the feel all right. They changed the plot, of course, and missed various things out, adding others in their place. But this didn't matter – Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters was absolutely stunning.

So why am I so obsessed with the things they changed? Why am I so much more in love with the book than with the film?

The same thing happened with The Hunger Games. They got almost everything exactly right, but it still... it didn't have the same feel to it. The suspense and emotion just didn't project from page to the screen.

Films... they can do a lot of things. They can bring whole worlds to life before our eyes, make characters into living, breathing flesh and blood. They can have us on the edge of our seats as vicious battle scenes are fought right before us, have us sobbing over a death, a heartbreak or smiling with joy. Films can make us see a lot of things – sometimes things that even books cannot do so well. They are a pure escape – there's nothing like sitting in the cinema, devoid of any other distraction, focused completely on the story playing on the screen.

And yet...

Films are great, but they just don't have the same...inclusion that books have. You're merely an observer: you aren't feeling everything the character feels, aren't reading every single one of their innermost thoughts, all of their doubts and fears and hopes. Films let you observe everything. Books? Books let you feel everything, know everything and LIVE everything. With a book, you can be the hero who kills the demon with one twirl of your blade. You can be the girl who battles cancer, along with all the pain and uncertainty that comes with it. You can be a demigod, you can be an alien, you can be an angel, a god, a villain, a hero. You can be in love, you can hate, you can triumph, you can lose. You can be anything and everything. There are no limits. No restrictions. Nothing is impossible, nothing is out of reach…

And that… that is why books are always better. When you read a book, nothing else exists and you can be a whole other person in this completely new and amazing world. You can live as someone else, free of your own troubles, even if only for two hundred pages.

Books are magic. Which is why I'm telling you all to forget about movie magic and get back to the pure magic that lives upon your bookshelves. Because while the movies are good… the books are ALWAYS better.

Do you think books are better than films? Send us your thoughts - childrens.books@theguardian.com - or join the discussion on Facebook

Your responses

ABitCrazy
The thing is... most days people prefer to have a day sitting in front of the television watching the latest films and TV shows; some people even just watch TV for the sake of watching TV and they're willing to watch any old junk. And it's more common to find people that prefer to sit in front of the television all day than it is to find someone that wants to sit at home reading all day. I love reading with a passion; I love letting my imagination run wild and imagining what all these characters look like and how they're feeling. Films don't do that for you but books do! Almost all books that become bestsellers get turned into films and sometimes the films really please you and sometimes it can be soul-destroying!

Two of my favourite series of books have both been turned into films - The Hunger Games and Twilight.

And after watching the first Hunger Games it totally ruined the book for me forever. I can't imagine the Hunger Games the way I used to when I re-read the book. The Hunger Games was somewhere to escape to on a good or bad day; it made you forget where you were and start being a different person, even if it only lasted the length of a book. It felt like it was my life and not Katniss's but now that I've seen the film I no longer imagine how the characters looked and reacted to everything. But watching and reading Twilight didn't feel quite like that, because when Twilight first came out in cinemas I was to young to watch it so I wasn't interested in it but as we all know Twilight is now one of the most popular teen books and movies ever! So once I got to the age of wanting to watch and read the books it was too late to think up my own imagination of the book because by then I had seen and read so many things about Twilight I already knew most of what happened. So films in some ways ruin books for children. And if the Hunger Games turns out like Twilight - all the people that are too young to watch it now but might when they are older will have already seen all the trailers and read all the articles in magazines - the experience of reading the book will be totally ruined for them.

And then you have people that just skip the book and go straight to the film. I understand that some people actually don't like reading so they probably won't read the book but they might watch the film, but to just skip the book completely because they're desperate to watch the film is disappointing. I like to read the books first to know where it all started and why they decided to make a film out of it. I didn't read all of The Host (Stephenie Meyer's other novel) before I saw the film but I did read some of it and it was a great book from what I read but also a great film. And of course sometimes films seem to be the same idea as the book had but are not actually based on the book. So it's a bit like Twilight for instance; Twilight's inspiration came mainly from the American TV show Buffy The Vampire Slayer but had its own little twist. And that's a bit like what films do to books. They make it seem like they've taken the idea from the book but switched it up so it's not actually anything to do with the book.

And for this reason that's why I prefer books to films. Films destroy really amazing books! And TV has changed books. Maybe some people only read books because they're the reason that the films exist and I think that reading a book because of TV and films is a bad way to read; I think people should read a book because they actually want to read the book and every book should be a new story. And of course there are films not related to books at all and books that films aren't based on, and sometimes that is exactly how it should be: sometimes it's best if the two things aren't connected.

Book vs. Movie

When it comes to the consumption of literature materials, different people have different tastes and preferences. In some cases, movies and books perform the same function particularly in cases where both the book and the movie are based on similar stories thus have related content. Some people argue that watching is better than reading but such an argument is subject to debate. This paper holds the view that one gains more by reading content than watching.

Movies are a good source of entertainment and information. One can watch a documentary within 2 or 3 hours. This is one of the key reasons why most people prefer to watch movies to reading a book. Instead of taking a couple of hours or days reading a novel, they want to ‘watch for 2 hours and get over it. However, that is as far as movies go. Books have proved time and again, that they are more valuable than any other literary technological advancement tool that man comes up with. From the early bible to modern books used in libraries, books are a permanent source of knowledge. They are more engaging than movies, and a reader can delve deeper thus understanding content more than he would for a movie.

A movie is usually limited by time. An account of the deeds and works of Jesus Christ, for instance, are given in details and elaborately in the bible. A step by step explanation enables the reader of the bible to fully understand who Jesus was. However, movies on the works and deeds of Jesus are brief, as they are limited to 2 or 3 hours only. Consequently, during editing, the editors remove some of the key parts of the story due to time limits, implying that the movie audience does not get a chance to watch every aspect of the storyline due to time and other budget constraints.

Such books as “DA Vinci Code” and “The Notebook” have corresponding movie titles but the movies are not even half as engaging or popular as the books, some of which are best sellers, having sold millions of copies all over the world. “Fifty shades of grey” is an erotic romance novel written in 2011. In 2015, a film was made from the movie and given a similar title. However, readers continue identifying themselves with the book, not the movie due to the compelling nature of the book, how vivid and detailed the author describes scenes and makes the reader picture exactly what he means. The book brings about an emotional connection between the reader and the characters in the book and is deeply endearing and compelling. A movie requires the actors to emulate the storyline and behave in a certain manner but human beings are prone to inadequacies and some end up failing to act or behave as expected thus viewers find some movies to be unfulfilling in comparison to the characters vividly described in books.

Moreover, books are an eternal source of knowledge. A book that one read 20 years ago is still as relevant, entertaining, and inspiring as it is today. Take Robert Kiyosaki’s inspirational books and tips on how to excel financially, for instance. Such books still make sense half a century after their publication because they give a detailed breakdown of how an individual can effectively pursue wealth and manage his finance. Movies are, however, subject to change in technology. Movies of the 19th century, for instance, are not as desirable as books written during a similar period because most of them employed inferior technology, and are mostly done in “black and white.” Books are eternal as no technology can render a book unfeasible.

In conclusion, books are a timeless treasure. They are more detailed and are highly informative and educative in comparison to a movie. Authors are not limited by time and budgetary constraints as movie editors are. Technological changes have little impact on the effectiveness of the book whose greatest value lies not on the paper on which it is written, but on the content of the pages. Books will definitely stand out for the next limitless couple of centuries.

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