Reading Books or Watching Film Adaption

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Everyone loves a good movie played by their favorite actors. The genre varied when it comes to movies; whether it is action, romance or horror. Fun fact is that most movies that are in the cinema are being adapted from books by famous authors. The selling of books increases drastically after movies are being adapted from it. Examples of movies being adapted from books are IT, Harry Potter series and even To All The Boys I Have Loved Before which were quite popular among the youngsters due to the lead actor, Noah Centineo.

In an article released by PR Newswire (2014), sixty-two percent of women in the America prefer to watch movie only after they finish reading the book while fifty-three percent of men prefer to watch movie compare to reading books. Why do men prefer movies over books? What is the benefit of owning books that being adapted for movies? Books and movies are similar but only some scene from the book is replaced or removed in the making of the movie so that the screening of the movie does not take too long to be watched by viewers.

One of the reasons why people prefer watching movies over reading books is that it is more convenient for people as it saves more time. Both activities, reading books and watching movies are done during leisure times but watching a movie is much faster than reading a book. In a book written by Beaumont (2009), he mentioned that a survey was carried out and the result is that teenagers spend about ten hours per day consuming media of varied kinds. (p. 26). This shows that most teenagers prefer to see something that is visual rather than non-visual.

People would rather watch movies compare to reading books because they are able to watch their favorite actors and actresses play the character instead of having to work their imagination when they read the book. It is so much easier for them to see the character develop throughout the movie. Moreover, a movie usually takes one to three hours only compare to reading books which may take days. When reading books, some people get easily distracted by other stuff and procrastinate the time to read the books while watching movie can be easily done only in one sitting.

In other word, saving time means that less time that is being consumed by someone on doing something. Such as when reading books, the readers need to imagine what happen throughout the story to understand the on-going character development throughout the story. They need to visualize each detail written by the author of the books by working their imagination.

However, this might affect the story as it could end up in different opinions of different point of views from readers. Some people have difficulty to imagine stuff. This will result them on taking longer time compare to watching a movie. Hence, watching movie adapted from a book is more convenient for them as the movie production have done most of the work of them.

In a book written by Stratyner and Keller (2015), they mentioned about the famous movie which was popular among teenagers in the year 2005; Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe written by C. S. Lewis. They said that in the movie, the goal was absent from Lewis’s writing and that Narnia itself, given a wide-ranging epic scope in the film compared to the books that repeatedly highlighted the particular size of the alternative world. (p. 3) This shows that when it comes to books, it is harder to imagine whereas movies, viewers do not have to imagine and waste their time on thinking about the development of the characters in the movie.

Wrapping up the first point, books consumed too much time from the readers compare to the movie. Movie takes only like an hour or so of the viewers’ time whereas books could take longer time and people can get easily distracted and procrastinate their time from reading the books. Which eventually leaving the books to be forgotten and to be read by the readers when they saw the book again. Hence, people who are always busy with their daily activities prefer to watch movie more than reading books.

Next, it is quite obvious by now why people nowadays prefer to watch movie adaptation rather than reading books. One of the reasons being the book prices have been raising drastically nowadays. Yes, most people do not judge a book by it prices or it synopsis but not all people are willing to take that risk to spent their money buying books and ended up not liking it or even worse regret buying it.

People often question why do books cost so much and sometimes it makes them feel like the price is not as worth as the material that they read. As a reader myself, I often find myself questioning the same thing. It has always been a wonder on why do such high price being put on books. I would like to separate it into two parts – the first one is the process of making the book and the other is the book itself.

The process of making a book is not as easy as it seems. Write something, made a deal with a publisher, proofread, editing and you made a book. No, it is never that easy. First, an agent is needed as they are very important so that you will not get swindled or being involved in a scam by any unprofessional publishing company. Writing a book might take up months or worse, a year to publish one book.

In a book interview with Shannon Hale, Stephenie Meyer said that her best-selling book, Twilight’s process of writing was completed in only three months and a whole six months including the editing, proofreading, publishing and others. The book itself is expensive? Why? How? Well, for starters we all definitely wants everything with high quality just like how we always want to watch a video on YouTube with 720p instead of 144p. This happens because it is to make sure that the quality is worth as much that we paid for.

However, it is often that we all want something good but will always complaint when the prices are too expensive. That is the same thing with the quality of the paper in a book. The usual type of paper used for the published book is the uncoated paper and based on an article from Fineline Printing Group, the price of the paper have been increasing for about 3-5 percent since the beginning of 2019 and that is quite a lot.

All of the processes of making a book requires very high budget. Why? You cannot simply ask someone to be your agent or to proofread your story. It is very uncommon – it is almost very lucky if there are professionals willing to help for free or to publish a book for you. This is essentially because the process of making a book is a business as well as marketing a book to a bookseller.

According to an article on a website called ‘Salon’, about 20 percent of the profit from sold books are for the budget of publishing the book which is mostly spent into the type of paper, printing, size of the book. Another 15-20 percent goes to the author and about 60 percent that left will be distributed evenly to the behind-the-scenes helper, the agent, the one who did the proofread, editing and so on.

There are many people who prefer movie adaptation over books but there are also people who really like the book rather than the movie. For me, it depends on the person’s own interest like how some people might say Malaysian television drama are cringe-worthy while some really like it and defended the dramas. For them, the book gives much more feeling than watching a movie adaptation of that certain book.

It dives into the character much more and helps the reader to stay focus in order to understand the whole book. Which makes it very exciting and long-lasting for a person who really likes to live in a different fantasy and more adventurous world and have a great imagination.

There is a lot of reason as to why there are people who like books over the movie adaptation and one of the reason are by reading a book, it helps the reader to relate more to the character. How? If you watch a movie adaptation of the book ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes, you don’t know what the main character of the story, Lou is thinking. In the book, it was written in the first person point of view where you will know what the main character is thinking, thoughts on certain things.

Surely, the cons of reading a book are the reader don’t know what the other character is doing but that will add more surprise and excitement to the readers. By reading the books, it will enhance the reader’s imagination. Readers will imagine the appearance of each character in the books and how the settings of the place will look like. Imagining these things will help readers to relate more to the character.

The readers know very well what the world in the book looks like as they are the one who created it. How readers can relate to the character? The thoughts in the head that only the reader and that one character know about it existent. Other than that the detailed action about something or someone’s feeling about certain things makes it easy to relate for readers and also for readers to justify the action the character made.

Apart from that, among the factors that cause people to more prefer to watch movies or adaptations of a novel, as compared to books, is also due to the differences that exist between each plot in movies and books. A movie that is defined as a film, which comes from various types of storytelling genre has attracted more people to watch it. This is due to the editing techniques of every film they launch, very sophisticated and modern in the current trend. There is also a view of a movie in 3D, while it can satisfy every spectator watching and more exclusive.

One of the most frequently used editing examples in the production of each film or movie is the use of VCR editing (Video Cassette Recorder) that works as a recorder, which also integrates its function with video switcher or video mixer, to realize transition effects like fade or even dissolves with more clear in the production of each published movie.

What’s unique about the production of the film is also due to the movie also conveying its storytelling in the form of animations as well as cartoons that make the society are fonder of watching. Every abstract animation produced, done carefully and regularly. It has made the animated film or movie a great and international standard. In contrast to the storytelling of each book released.

Thickness and thinness of each book sheet sometimes also make book fans begin to defecate. This is because they get bored and need to waste their daytime just to spend reading their books up to the last chapter, for the purpose of knowing how to end a story of interest. The work and other activities that they want to implement are also delayed as they are too focused on the books being read. That’s all the advantages of the movies and the lack of it in the books.

Turning back to the topic of the discussion, more people prefer movies as the primary medium for them to know a story either from reality or fantasy genres. This can be easily achieved by watching film adaptation opposed to books such as novels because of the use of different plot factors. The use of plots in the film is more complicated than the plot used in the construction of a story in a book. The types of plots used in the production of the film alone, already use many plot types.

Among the plot types used are circular plot, linear plot, foreshadowing plot, and flashback plot. For each of these plots, there are distinctive functions in the production of a film. One of the examples that can be taken here is like the flashback plot function, the usefulness of this plot is also used in the story plot in a book. But there is a slight difference in reducing the plot’s equations.

The director and collaborators of the script can alter the state of the past story described in the book with its flashback state to be determined either in the front of the story or at the end of the story. In fact there is also a local film production that uses the flashback plot layout method in the middle of storytelling to further increase suspense and delights in the presentation of the story.

Some books are produced very poorly and it seems that no one is using the foreshadowing plot elements in their story presentation. Foreshadowing plot tells a story in the future, also proposing from one story to another, and at the end of the story, combining both forms of story presentation on each stage to find out the ending of the filmed story.

Therefore, the film makers play their role in placing the foreshadowing plot in their film. Writers and directors can also mix the plots to make a story more interesting to be considered. From there, viewers can concludes from the whole scene on the movie they are watching.

For the plots used in the book, they basically use the plots that begin in stages. In the production of a novel or a book, the author will start a starting plot which is known as exposition, where this plot introduces characters, backgrounds and moods. Next, the author will further develop the story with complexity and peak plot rankings to achieve maximum concentration. Then, at the end of the story, the author will use the resolution plot as the end, but sometimes the author wants to add his creativity again in the story, they make the top plot as the end of a story they produce.

Authors of story books and novels also use plot techniques in their story presentation. The plot techniques are used to develop plot stories to make it a lot more interesting. The plot techniques consists of backbone, face-to-face, suspense, conflict, surprise and dialogue. Scatter back-up technique used by authors is functioning to recall events that have happened and the events are scanned through descriptions, delusions, dialogues, monologues or internal monologues.

Furthermore, the use of sketchy sketch techniques, the author uses an early or predictive shadow of an event that action of the characters in the story and creates a reader’s confidence in every action of characters. Suspension techniques are used to generate various types of questions to readers against read stories. Conflicts of technique also indicate superior opposition to antagonistic characters in a story.

Surprises are used by authors to display unexpected changes by readers while dialogue is a plotting technique incorporated in order to create speech between characters and is more visualized by readers on the characters they build. Authors need to use all these plotting techniques to shape the stories they produce into an interesting and perfect story. The plot and the techniques have become a very compulsory case for authors to produce their stories before they are posted.

In addition, driving the imagination of society is also one of the factors why people prefer to watch movies rather than reading a book. The purpose of driving this community’s imagination is its many aspects. Examples that can be taken here are animated films. This animated film is performed with a very through method of detail. Complete with modern cartoon editing, in 3D viewing and community fun.

At the same time, it can broaden the audience’s imagination in watching animated movie airing. Unlike books that are full of writing only without any visual form, the reader cannot describe the story and is less impressed with the situation as told. In addition, the criteria used in films such as the animated films can also be used as a highly sophisticated and instructive learning media in every school.

The criteria of this movie is especially suitable for children and adolescents, especially because of their strong memories imagining the actions shown in the animated film especially. In contrast to the dialogue and the discussion of the sentence that is spelled out in the novel. For example, it is more formal and not too independent because the novel author must comply with the rules set by the language hall and the national library.

When it comes to movie or book, mostly people will choose movie because it is able to grab attention better than a book. People can spend time with their friend or family by watching a movie for countless time, this often unconsciously make their bond become stronger. This is because the duration for one movie just one until two hours and the longest duration of the movie is three hours.

That would provide enough time to build a relationship – as often done by friends or couples. It could be the best way to know each other to build up a good relationship. Moreover, if they have a problem in a relationship, they could solve it because movie can make us feel free from any trouble while also filling up free times.

But when you are reading, of course you need to be alone even you got a friend beside you. You need to focus each word to make you understand and the end only you know what kind of story book you read. Because of this, it very hard as a reader to have a good relationship with other people. Read a book just waste too much time to have better life with other people because you waste your time to be alone rather than spend time with your colleagues.

Watching movie with people close to us where they like the same genre of movie will absolutely be a good experience. This is because they can argue about the plot after watch the movie. This is the good thing to make people understand the story. If you are reading, they usually face the problem of not having anyone to discuss about the story because they maybe cannot find other people who have the interest in a same book.

Planning to watch movie with your companion and family on weekend could be more effective to release your stress from work place and school. You just need to stay at a theatre and enjoy a popcorn with a cup of cola during movie is playing. Instead, most readers need a quiet place to focus on their reading subjects. Statistic from report Market Research by Limelight Network (2018), shows that 39.3% from Malaysia consumers would rather pay more for a movie than spending it on books, 25.4% of Malaysia consumers and this shows us that Malaysian people like to watch movie more than reading a book.

Another point to approve movie is better than book is movie easy to visualize because it uses cinematic view rather than book, where the readers need to imagine every action word or scenario to see a story. This is also the reason why people like movie more than fiction book. From the book title Make Believe in Film and Fiction Visual vs. Verbal Storytelling by Kroeber, K. (2006), it tells us that movie and book have very big different and it makes which one is better.

In chapter one, watching and picturing are totally different. Watching thriller movies, people would feel the sensation from watching what happening in the story and reading only make us try to shutting out our sensory impressions (Kroeber K., 2006). From that statement, it shows us that reading can’t make us to feel how exactly how it feel.

Not all human being can have a good imagination to make a proper picturing of the scene and this is a reason why people suggest to watch a movie. Experiencing the movie would be a best moment because people can notice how it feels like. In science, there has been proven that visualize is better and imagining a text. Eisenberg H. (2014) explain, human brain can process an image 60,000 times faster than text and 90% of information send to the brain is visual.

This tell us that people easy to understand how a movie plot has been presented and make people able to remember important scene. While people need to convert a text to image in our mind. So reader will easily to remember but some plot would be fuse because too much plot than a movie.

At the end of the day, everyone has their own opinion to everything. Therefore, the choices never really did matter as both – the books and movies have different aspects which delivers drastic difference in experience. While film adaptation may be much more convenient to some people, other might find exploring the story with their own imagination makes it the best part of reading.


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Cite this paper

Reading Books or Watching Film Adaption. (2021, Jan 25). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/reading-books-or-watching-film-adaption/



Can you give the advantages of watching movies adapted from books?
Watching a film based on someone else's interpretation of a popular story allows you to consider the attitudes and perspectives of others . Encouraging your child to analyse the film and reflect on the differences to the original story can, therefore, encourage the development of their social skills.
Do film adaptations ruin the books?
No, they don't. In fact, they can enhance the experience of the book and provide a different perspective on the story.
Is it better to read a book than to watch the story as a film?
Some people prefer to read the book before watching the film, so they can imagine the story in their own way and not be disappointed by the film version. However, sometimes it can be enjoyable to watch the story come to life on the big screen.
Why are film adaptations better than books?
The motion of objects in a movie is often determined by the laws of physics. The special effects in a movie can also be created using physical principles.
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