Let’s settle the old age debate once and for all. When I have to choose between the book and the film, the book will always win. The book is always better than the film. History has proven my point and for the most part, the book usually puts the film version to shame.
Here are some of my reasons why the book is almost always better than the film:
The author is the captain of the ship. They basically have a blank slate and can do whatever they want. While a book is edited, it is ultimately up to the author how long the book is going to be. Movies are typically between 1.5 to 3 hours so this means the book has to be condensed to fit that time frame. This leads to deleted scenes and developments being cut short which I am not a fan of.
Now, this is not to say that film doesn’t have longevity because it does. There are definitely the classic films that you still love and watch even 20 or so years after it has been released. When I speak about longevity, I am talking about in terms of something tangible. Sure, there are DVDs and now Blu-Ray but there isn’t really a collector’s edition per say. With music, you can still find vinyl and with writing, we have the books. There is nothing like pulling your favorite book from the shelf, brushing the dust off and flipping to your favorite chapter. Books stay with you in a way I don’t think the film does.
With a film, we are only seeing the characters through the director (and sometimes) the screenwriter’s point of view. With a book, if 50 people read a specific story, there will be 50 different ideas about the characters and what that particular story line means. We all interpret the characters differently. Books allow for more nuanced characters, in my opinion than film. (I feel that television has more room to work with and does a much better job but we’re only talking about film here.)
So there you have it, my reasons that the book is (almost) always better than the film. If YOU had to choose – book vs film?