BTT ~ Books or Movies?

May 22, 2008 at 4:57 pm | Posted in Books, Film, LIfe, Reading | 6 Comments
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BTTBooks and films both tell stories, but what we want from a book can be different from what we want from a movie. Is this true for you? If so, what’s the difference between a book and a movie?

My first thought is that books and movies are entirely different things, but that’s not true.  Both tell stories.  Both can entertain and educate.  They can both move you at a very deep level and stay with you for a long time.  They can both make you scream and want the part of your life that you spent with it back (Talented Mr. Ripley and The Emperor’s Children are my cases in point).  They both stem from someone’s desire to communicate with the rest of humanity.  I’m glad to be living in a day and age that has both mediums.

Still, they should not be judged on the same level.  I most definitely read for different reasons than I watch a movie.  I wish that I could fully explain the way that I feel while I’m reading a good book.  All at the same time I am outside my body and experiencing another reality while I’m sitting (hopefully) someplace comfortable consciously feeling the texture of the book cover and pages and breathing in the scent of a book’s pages, which is the most calming scent on the earth to me.  When I’m in this place, I feel the most connected to myself, this world, and all that it contains.  I wouldn’t call it sacred necessarily, but it is a positive force in my life.

Movies, when they are good, also take me someplace new.  It’s not the same type of experience.  It’s more purely entertainment.  It is no less an art than writing, but it doesn’t reach me in the same manner.  This is entirely personal, though.  I believe what I experience with reading my husband experiences with movies.  What is wonderful about a movie is that the experience of seeing it can change based upon who you see it with.  For example, I love Gone With the Wind.  I’ve seen in countless times alone or with a few extra people.  It wasn’t until it was re-released maybe about 10 years or so ago that I belly laughed as I watched Mamie on screen.  The group dynamic added to the experience of the movie.  For me with books, reading in a large audience would be distracting and detract from my experience.  It wouldn’t enhance it in that way.

Long story short, I love both books and movies, but I approach them in much different ways.  How about you?


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  1. Agree!

  2. Well said! I agree that both mediums do actually have a lot in common.

    I loved your description of the way reading makes you feel 🙂

  3. Huh – interesting! I have just realised that I will more often reread a book than rewatch a film, which would suggest quite strongly that I prefer to read than watch a film!

  4. I hadn’t thought about that, but it’s actually the other way around for me. There are many more movies I’ve seen multiple times than there are books I’ve read multiple times.

  5. Firstly, great webspace!

    This topic is interesting to me, in particular, I am very energetic but love to read books. More than that I love stories; narrative; insightful tales of the human condition and spirit.

    Sadly, it’s rare that I reread a book though I abhor parting with a book that I savored. ( Sam I am severely envious of you!)

    BUT… I am a very discerning film viewer. I need excellent plot, character development, dialogue, … (I’m not alone on this of course!)

    As a nobody, but something of a connaisseur, I would highly recommend some book titles; books that are amazing but not at all mainstream. (*: reveal, in detail, the seamier side of human weakness)

    Junkie Love*
    The Breeders Box
    Running with Scissors*
    Freaks Amour
    Boxcar Bertha

    Well, that’s my two (euro) cents.

  6. Patricia, welcome! I will most definitely check out some of your suggestions. Sometimes I get into a rut and I need something new and different. As with so many other people out there, there can never be too many books on my TBR list – EVER. I would be interested in hearing about some of the movies you like. I’m always on the lookout for something even my husband hasn’t discovered yet (rarely ever happens).

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