Reading the book first.

I guess I can say this post is somehow “inspired” by a comment left on a friend’s Facebook status regarding the Hollywood version of books. I don’t know if the comment was serious or not (and frankly, I don’t care), but the person said to stop reading the books before seeing the movie if we’re constantly let down by movie versions.

This particular conversation was in reference to the newest Nicholas Sparks book/movie, Safe Haven. Now, I haven’t seen the movie (nor do I have any desire to), but I read the book when it first came out. It wasn’t my favorite Sparks story, but I wouldn’t doubt it if the film script strayed from the novel. Sparks movies often do.

For example, The Notebook. I do love the story a lot. The movie was very, very well done. However, my one BIG discrepency is the ending. Remember how at the end of the book, only Allie died? And remember how that set up a sequel? While The Wedding was one of Sparks’ more mediocre books, Noah and Allie’s story was able to continue. I can understand why the movie ended the way it did, but they did miss out on the opportunity for a sequel.

Regardless, this post isn’t about Hollywood changing things from books to movies — that kind of post would go on all day. It’s about reading the book before seeing the movie. Or even after. I don’t care. Just read the book.

I was very worried about the film version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It’s been my favorite book since I was fifteen. The movie ended up being very well done (except they messed up my favorite part, but whatever); but I’m more worried about the people who love the movie but have never (and possibly will never) pick up the book. They think the movie is all sorts of amazing, but what they don’t know is the detail in the book that may be left out of the movie.

That, of course, can be said for all movies based on books. One of my other favorite books, The Time Traveler’s Wife, was made into a pretty decent movie, but it missed so, so many of the important details. Even the Twilight series (which I will ONLY defend this once) missed the mark from book to movie.

What I’m trying to say is this: if a movie is based on a book, and if you like to read, please read the book. Movies often miss so much, which is heartbreaking because the original ideas and concepts may be lost. The author worked so hard to write the book, and often, seeing the movie without reading the book can be a bit of a disservice to the author.

Think about it. If you spent a huge amount of time creating a huge project, and then another company came along and took your idea, changed it around a bit, and then sold it out to the public, and no one saw or knew about your original idea… wouldn’t that suck?

Read the book. Chances are it will be better anyway.

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