Don’t Judge a Book By Its Movie

Now that we’ve said Good Riddance, let’s get down to some book talking business.

We all know the old adage don’t judge a book by its cover.

In laments terms, don’t make assumptions based solely upon how something looks. Now this saying is commonly applied to many facts of life, but a certain spin on it is one I think most book addicts can appreciate and understand.

Don’t judge a book by its movie.

We’ve all seen this fun little tidbit on Pinterest or other internet sites declaring to all those reading that they shouldn’t judge the books they might want to read based on the movies they helped create.

bac2dbe96eafdff48f07d08bafa3fd77Let’s face it. Film adaptations of books have been happening for years, and they are here to say. (I love that, but something tells me not everyone agrees with me on that particular thought.)

You see movie adaptations of books are a pretty sticky situation. And that’s putting it really lightly. They tend to range from extremely well loved, to sickeningly bad, to everything in between.

I think it’s really hard to take a book and make it into a film that does the book justice. This effort is valiantly attempted many times a year in every movie season, yet sadly many of these adaptations leave us feeling a bit down and disappointed or severely pissed off.

They always leave something we had to see out. Or we don’t like the actor/actress they picked to play a character we just adored. The couch in a particular scene could be a different color than in the book. (I am not even joking on that last one. I have heard people complain about that very thing many times before….)



Now I’ve reviewed some film adaptations of books on here before, and I tend to see these adaptations in a different light than most. Maybe I’m a bit of an optimist, but I always tend to give these films the benefit of the doubt. I realize movies are different than books, and as much as we’d all love to sit through a 6 hour movie that left nothing out, that just doesn’t work. (Seriously people, stop asking for that! It ain’t gonna happen.)

I’ve read my fair share of books that have been turned into films. More than I can honestly count. Some books I read before the film, some I even read after, but suffice to say, I’ve been doing this whole book to film thing since I became a book addict. Basically since birth.

So what brought on this discussion today at The Never Ending Book Basket?

I recently saw a new film based on a hugely bestselling young adult series. The film was really well done in my opinion. It was entertaining as hell. It made me laugh, my breath caught a few times at the action and events, and it had some characters I connected with and liked. Overall it was a good film adaptation that was truly engaging to watch and experience.

Here’s the thing though: I haven’t read any of the books in this series. Not one.

I am not kidding you when I say I have picked up the first book in this series at least 50 times over the last couple of years since its release. As you know I constantly seek out books in multiple locations, and this book has been everywhere. Each time I pass it by in the aisle, it calls to me.

I’ve picked it up. Read the back cover. Even read the first page. Yet each time I’ve put it right back onto the shelf without even adding it to my to be read list.

It just never caught my eye enough to make me want to read it, or buy it, or even add it to that list. What can I say? I am a self-proclaimed book snob.

So I must say I found it pretty interesting and surprising that after seeing the film adaptation of this highly loved book, I actually wanted to read it. I mean that’s kind of backwards for me. I’m the type of person who typically reads the book well before the movie comes out if I’m aware it exists. Or if I see a movie and find out it’s a book after watching the film, I’ll promptly read it.

But rarely have I ever knowingly saw a film based on a book series that I intentionally didn’t read or wasn’t 100% sure on.

The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

I kid you not, I said those very words to my best friend as we left the movie theater. And I couldn’t help but wonder what had changed to make me want to suddenly read this series.

It’s not as if I didn’t know the premise of these books before I saw the movie. I also knew the actors and actresses they chose to portray characters, and I was sold there. (Hello, Fitzgerald Grant the President of the United States from Scandal is in this movie. How can you not love that?!) I also knew many other people loved them, so it’s not as if this book was for singular tastes.

So what changed?

I honestly don’t think I have an answer to that question. Maybe seeing the film made the story come alive more so than it had before just from those few pages I’d read. Maybe it made me take a second or fifty first look at the books. Maybe I just became less of a book snob. (Don’t hold out hope on that one!)

Whatever the reasoning was for my change of heart, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was one of the few people out there that looks at books time and time again, but don’t actually decide to read them until the movie is out.

So besides writing this blog post and sharing all my thoughts on this topic, I want to know what you think:

Have you ever done this, and felt this way after seeing a film adaptation of a book? Has a film adaptation of a book actually gotten you to read a book or series?

I know I’m not the only one out there, so feel free to share! I can’t wait to hear from you!

Oh, and if you’re sitting there wondering if I bought the books after seeing the film. Well let’s just say my checking account decreased in amount just a smidge because I may or may not have just bought the entire series…

Here’s hoping that was $40 well spent.

To see my other posts on film adaptations click the following links:

Fifty Shades of Grey

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

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