To Read or To Watch?

Do you read the book first or watch the movie adaptation first? Have you thought about switching back and forth?

Some people argue that you can ruin the book by watching the movie first, while others find that reading after watching allows you to enjoy both pieces on their own. Here are three benefits to both.

Read First

The best parts of reading the book before watching the movie:

1. Books often offer more detail on the characters and setting. They can help you understand what state the story takes place in and how the main character feels about their own image through the narrator. You may miss some details completely in the shortened film.

2. The easiest way to avoid spoilers? Read the book first. Dive into the story without knowing the major plot twist that happens in Chapter 46 that the movie highlights and everyone talks about.

3. Go into a movie with your own opinion already formed. This allows you to love all of the early scenes with your favorite couple without having to decide which side you’re on.

Watch First

The best parts of watching the movie before reading the book:

1. Most importantly, you won’t spend the entire movie focusing on the differences. This way you can fall in love with the movie as is, then read the book to find the details you were missing.

2. The characters will never look different in your head than they do on screen. Still think that Emma Watson is too put together for Hermione and that Daniel Radcliffe is too short for Harry Potter? You’re not alone, but if you watched the movies first, you may not have even noticed.

3. If you don’t like the movie, you don’t have to spend the time reading the book. If you are on the fence about a storyline, watch the movie first to make sure you are interested before spending the time on the book.

Book to Movie Adaptations

Check out these popular book-to-movie adaptations in our catalog!

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

For teenager Mia Thermopolis, just surviving each school day is an adventure. Then she receives the shocking news from her grandmother that she is a real-life princess. So begins a comical transformation towards poise and princess-ness, including a media storm, jealous schoolmates and a plot to take over her country.

View in our Catalog


The 5th Wave by Richard Yancey

Cassie Sullivan, the survivor of an alien invasion, must rescue her young brother from the enemy with help from a boy who may be one of them.

View in our Catalog


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Set during World War II in Germany. Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich, scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist, books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

View in our Catalog


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