Would You Rather See the Movie Before or After Reading the Book? @amreading

covering eyes

Hello, fellow book junkies!  Just a quick question. . . Do you prefer seeing a movie before or after reading the book?

I am freakishly averse to knowing too much about a story before reading it. I enjoy being tantalized by a vague notion of the plot and characters but am the first to cover my eyes at even a hint of a spoiler. Why? Because if I know too much about the plot, I won’t read the book! I can’t. Because, for me, the most enjoyable aspect of reading a book is the thrill of discovery. Without it, reading a novel feels like going through the motions, as in: Oh, that was nicely written, but I know the girl is going to wind up with guy #2 by the end. You get the idea.

As you may have guessed, my answer to the question of whether I’d like to see a movie before or after reading the book is a resounding AFTER. Reading the book beforehand also gives me a more complete picture of the characters and subplots, which makes watching the movie adaptation feel like a more complete experience.

What do you prefer? Are there good reasons for reading a book after watching the movie?

36 thoughts on “Would You Rather See the Movie Before or After Reading the Book? @amreading

  1. If I’m positive that I will never read the book (for whatever reason) or at least not for a long time, then I will definitely see the movie first.

    I may get some mean eyes directed at me for saying this, but that’s how I felt about The Martian. I know, I know, it’s supposed to be a great book, but I didn’t have time to read it due to my insane backlog of books and now reading for my blog. So I knew that it would be a long time before I got to read The Martian so I went ahead and saw the movie. Same thing with book series that I started but didn’t finish, like Divergent. I didn’t read the last book due to having zero interest, but I will see the last movie.

    If it’s a book that I KNOW I will read, then of course I will not watch the movie! It’s common sense, isn’t it?

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  2. I sometimes like to see movies before reading the books because it’s a much different experience. Most of the time (there are some notable exceptions to this rule) a movie shows the characters doing their stuff without telling you too much about their inner thoughts. You see the action, and perhaps don’t fully understand the motivations behind it, but you still enjoy it. Then if you go read the book afterwards, it’s a great feeling of returning to a world that you already loved and getting to know the characters on an even deeper level.
    I’ve also heard some people say that for classic books (say, the many remakes of Gatsby or Romeo and Juliet) that are difficult to understand, or particularly long books, they’d rather see the movie first, as it’s less of an undertaking that trying to get through the whole book. Then if they like the movie enough, they’ll know it’s worth their time to read the book.

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  3. If I am aware that there is a novel based off a film, I will almost always wait to watch the film & read the novel first. Idk, I feel as if I get more out of the movie if I read the novel first, because usually (not always) the book is better, lol. Great post, Eve 🙂

    -Jess @jbelkbooks

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  4. I have never enjoyed watching a movie intentionally if I know that it is based on a book. Somehow reading the book first and picturising everything in my head is a surreal experience which I can’t let go. And all those times when I read the book first and saw the movie later, I was partial to the printed word!! There were times when I unknowingly saw the movie first, but then I couldn’t pick up the book again. Lol. Weird.

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  5. Good post Eve. And for most movies I would watch the movie after. But I could do with watching the movie first too. Especially if it’s on those now rare occasions that I go to the theater to see. Really it is rare now that I see movies on the big screen. Ages ago I would see one or two movies a week. Now it’s one or two a season.

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  6. I think it just depends on the movie for me. I used to always read the books first but now I prefer to see the movie first unless it’s a book or series that I’ve already read and am invested in. Lately, I’ve just seen too many differences between the books and movie and I hate watching a movie while the whole time I’m thinking, hey man that’s not what happened in the book or you skipped my favorite scene! It ruins the movie for me that way. I enjoy reading the book after because then it explains all of the extra stuff that you don’t get to see on film like the characters thoughts and gives you more background information. It actually makes makes the reading experience better for me personally. Great post!

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  7. definitely prefer reading the book first! There’s always something in books that you dont get to see in the movies. Unless of course ive no interest in reading the book, then id just watch the movie!

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  8. I definitely read the book first! I agree with a lot of the reasons you prefer to read the book first, especially because I don’t want to know too much about the book before I read it. I think that takes the fun out of reading it.

    Mostly, I prefer to read the book first because so many of the movies I have seen that have been based upon books change too many things or don’t do the story justice. Also, books often include more information, more meat than the movie versions. I have been sadly disappointed by more movies based on books than I care to count.

    However, I rarely find that a book disappoints me, and sometimes seeing the movie after the book completes the whole story experience.

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  9. I’m more of a before person. However, if I don’t know that a movie is based on a book I will see the movie first. Like I didn’t know that The Martian is based on a book. So I saw it first. I like to read books first though.

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  10. Well, sometimes I watch a movie based on a book and never read the book. However, there have been a few times where I’ve read the book and then saw the movie and each time, the movie was not nearly as good as the book so if I really wanted to read the book, then I’d read the book first and then watch the film.

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  11. Usually I prefer to read the book before I go watch the movie but sometimes my TBR doesn’t permit that to happen. #bookwormproblems So more times than I like I usually see the movies before reading the book. However, I do find that I’m able to read classics before I see their film counterparts. ^.^

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