A while ago when I used Blogger as my main reviewing site, I had sort of an epiphany about my reading habits and their link to the movies I watched. So this is the resulting waffle, slightly edited now I am actually reviewing books themselves.
Watch the film read the book(s) – wrong order right? Well maybe not.
I have been convinced I am a book reader first and foremost, and a film lover second. However more and more I am realising that the books I am reading are prompted by either watching an adaptation on TV or in the cinema, or learning of their impending release.
A couple of examples are the teen sensations Twilight and The Hunger Games, the first I saw on screen then read the books and the latter I read because I was so intrigued by all the fuss that was being created about the film release.
Now you may argue that teenage novels are really not the best example, because after all I was 21 and 24 respectively when I read the above, so the likelihood of finding these reading materials on my own was slim to none. And okay so the Twilight saga are not the best written books in the world but they were compelling. The Hunger Games trilogy however are incredibly well written whilst also being addictive.
A better example is probably JRR Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. I was 14years old and only just coming to terms with my geekiness when The Fellowship of the Ring was released. I had had The Hobbit read to me about five years previously as part of ‘story time’ in school but never picked up the book myself. Of course I then saw the film and bought the books and have not looked back.
I was OBSESSED with Lord of the Rings; it gave me my window to be who I am, slightly geeky and obsessive. I no longer cared about revealing that side because suddenly I had the internet to talk to others, write about my opinions and have like minded people converse and back me up. But of course the main reason I joined these forums and found out all the details about the books and films was because I had had my interest piqued by the movie.
Is it because I had not been exposed to the literature by those with the power to do so, my teachers, peers or parents? Or because of the age I have grown up in where everyone has access to television and the cinema for relatively little cost (compared to fifty years ago) so it is more natural to watch rather than read? I think it’s a little of both in truth. I love television, in fact I probably love it a little too much but that’s my issue. I also love going to the movies, but I adore reading. Getting caught up in a book is one of my favourite past times: you can do this on a train, on the beach, in your room, even on the toilet if the mood takes you. Now I know you can in theory watch TV or movies in each of these places using a mobile device, but it just doesn’t seem right to be on the beach watching a film, it’s too self-involved.
Becoming a librarian and working with teenagers has put me back on track with using my own public library, borrowing books that others have recommended, finding an author and exploring their back catalogue. But still television and movies play their part.
A bizarre interest in the TV show Teen Wolf has led me to find out there are other dystopic novels out there being made into movie franchises (I am currently half-way through the Maze Runner series thanks to Dylan O’Brien and his fans on Tumblr).
True Blood is the reason I read the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries, am waiting on that final book to become available at the library to see how it all turns out for her. But also now I am reading the Harper Connelly books, also by Charlaine Harris, because I have enjoyed the Stackhouse novels sense of humour and ideas of the supernatural.
Though I read ‘adult’ books (mostly fantasy) I am also not ashamed to be reading books aimed at teenagers. A few years yes I would have rather hidden in a cave than explore the 11+ section, but now? Screw it I like John Green, James Dashner and Malorie Blackman. They have good stories and interesting characters. John Green is a rare being who can write about this reality and I keep reading, normally theres gotta be a dragon or something going on for my interest to be held. However had I not been working with the teens this year I am fairly certain I would have not read any John Green until The Fault in Our Stars came out on film (2014 I believe).
So really what I am trying to say is a big thank you to the film industry. Without it I would not have read half the books on my shelf, which would have been detrimental to my own character. Books fuel imaginations, they often pick me up when I am feeling low, and they offer up people I can relate to and not feel quite so alone. It is reassuring to find my sense of humour in a Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett novel, but then it is equally reassuring to find it in Little Miss Sunshine.