Why books are better than their movie adaptations


While the phrase “the book was better than the movie” is commonly uttered, the debate between the two remains continues. As a devoted reader myself, the book version always remains superior. For those of you nonreaders, who are highly unlikely to be reading this, let me tell you why you are missing out.

Books leave more to the imagination

Books allow for more creativity and leave the depiction of scenes, characters and places up to the reader. There is no right or wrong when it comes to one’s imagination and each reader can have a different interpretation from the words that they read.

Movies provide a more restrictive platform. From the casting of actors to the setting of scenes, all of the creative content is predetermined by the producers of the films. When watching the visual adaptation of a book, many avid readers experience a disconnect due to the differences in the scenes that play out in front of them and the ones that they imagined.

You can experience books at your own pace

With books, readers can set their own pace and finish it at whatever speed they wish. Movies force viewers to dedicate a slot of time to finish it in its entirety, which can conflict with busy schedules and short attention spans.

Actors ruin the characters in a book   

The popular Netflix sequel “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” features Noah Centineo as Peter Kavinsky, the lacrosse player and boyfriend of Lara Jean. The less than stellar performance by Noah Centineo transformed the character of Peter Kavinsky from a heartthrob into a typical teenage boy with questionable character. The translation of characters from print to film fails to impress due to the actor’s ability to fulfill the role.

Need further evidence? The American adaptation of the Japanese franchise of “Ghost in the Shell” cast Scarlett Johansson as main character Major Mira Killian, who is a Japanese cyborg solider. Whitewashing a film is bound to ruin the original characters of book.

Movies are more superficial  

Movies typically do not go beneath the surface of a story and give depth to its characters. The storytelling that plays out on the screen is the producer’s version, therefore making it one-dimensional. Characters can be easily categorized, as they are judged upon their actions and dialogue and not their thoughts and feelings.

The cast of a film consists of overly attractive people who represent the unreasonably high standards of beauty that society has created. Characters in a book are more representative of society as a whole and do not have to be confined to the traditional Hollywood definitions of attractiveness.

Books allow you to know the characters better  

Readers become a part of the story and are the silent observers that get insight into the character’s feelings and thoughts. In movies, some feelings and thoughts are incapable of being expressed, and the viewers are forced to rely on what is directly being said or the subtext of actions to comprehend a deeper understanding.