My Dearest Mad-Readers,
Being a huge fan of both movies and books, I thought I would try and determine two things today : The first regards my personal preference; as for the second, it should be much more objective, since I wish to draw out the advantages and disadvantages of both formats. To compare these 2 sensibly different medium, I have decided to answer several questions (in quite a biased way, if I may be honest with you, my dear fellows).
1. How Much Of A Pleasure Is It ?
If you are reading this blog post, then you must agree with me that both reading, and watching a good movie (or an anime, a TV show…) are most delightful activities. If you do not… It is a bit weird, because it is one the main subjects on this blog.
I cannot say which activity I enjoy the most without being biased, and I assume it is the same for most of you. So let us agree that both movies and books are equal in these terms. I do not know how it is for you (tell me in the comments ^_^), but I tend to read more for a few months, and then read less and instead watch movies… (or vice versa). At the moment, I am more into watching movies and TV series. A few weeks ago, I had what I call my anime moment and, even earlier, at the end of the summer, I was reading a lot. Do you go through these cycles too ? Please, do tell me! I would love to know 🙂
Because I’m curious…
2. How Useful Are Books & Movies ?
Most useful. To learn a language, expand your cultural and spiritual horizons… to heal a wounded heart. Now, some of you may argue that it is pointless to search a point in doing an enjoyable activity. I would agree. Yet, for the purpose of this article, I need to compare both media. I tend to think it is easier to learn a language with movies than books, since you can be “passive” and still enjoy a movie, which you cannot be whilst reading.
When you read, you are the architect. You have to design the whole environment around the story, you need to imagine the characters, how they look, make them good or bad depending on your interpretation of the author’s words… To be able to do so, you need to gather as much as information as you can about all these things.
Books and movies are not only helpful when it is comes to learning a language. They are also entertaining and, even better, they are appeasing. Technically, they have what some like to name a cathartic effect. Catharsis is the purification of your emotions. So books and movies literally and directly heal your heart, if I may put it this way. They are a private place in which you can take refuge whenever you need.
As a little digression, I would merely like to add that the act of creating (writing, shooting a movie, drawing…) has these exact same properties. When I write, I always pour my heart into my writing. It is less true for today, but I used to write much more to purge my passions (or emotions, however you wish to call them). Creating is a powerful remedy to loneliness, depressions, for broken hearts, and all sorts of other issues you may be going through.
3. Which Skills Are You Working On ?
Both make you work on your comprehension skills. Of course, when reading you improve your various reading skills :
- Speed reading
- Paying attention to details
- You grow your vocabulary database
Depending on which book you read or which movie you watch, you may learn words related to diverse topics and which are more or less ancient. Some words may be archaic (this is an epic-fantasy reader writing from experience), others may be extremely recent. This is what I love so much about books and movies, they are ideal to work on a wide variety of skills when you are learning a foreign language. Plus, they complete themselves. What you cannot do with a book, you can do with a movie. Example : sharpening your listening skills, your accent, your pronunciation.
Hence my recent switch to Netflix to improve my Italian…
4. When Are You Most Active ?
The above word “passive” obviously is between quotation marks because in both cases you only are relatively passive. If you are watching a movie to improve one of your skills, such as you culture (e.g. watching a documentary), your vocabulary or your grammar (if the language of the movie is foreign to you), then you are not really passive. Same for reading (because many still consider reading as a passive skill).
I believe you are more active when reading, since you need to activate your imagination to create something following the author’s guidelines. However, some may argue that you can actively watch a movie too. I would agree. You may take notes whilst watching, you may pause the movie to analyze a sequence… We should probably agree that you will never be active in the same way. There is nothing to imagine in a movie, except of course if some things only are suggested (such as the death of a character, for instance), but it merely counts as an exception which confirms the rule. What is your opinion ? Tell me in the comments ?
5. Are Movie Adaptations Better Than Books ?
Usually, movies are born out of books and not the other way around. It does happen, yet it remains rare.
I believe it can be a mistake to compare a book and its adaptation. If the movie intends to be faithful, then it is not one. Yet, most of the time, the movie needs to have an identity of its own and directors make choice which stray from the story in the book. If you take the example of The Hobbit (written by J.R.R. Tolkien and adapted by Peter Jackson), it is a 300-page novel which was turned into not 1, but 3 3-hour movies. When they were barely able to shoot a movie of one hour and half for Eragon, which is about 800 pages long, I cannot help but be skeptical.
Take Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline. It was adapted by Steven Spielberg into an amazing movie which has given a second life to the book, yet it is not faithful at all. The characters are very different, all the challenges they have to go through are as well. The only similitudes there are, are the names of the characters, their roles in the story and the plot. Just like The Hobbit, this is a movie which has an identity of its own. It does not need the book to be enjoyed. Which is not the case for Harry Potter, in my humble opinion.
6. Have I Forgotten Something ?
How would you compare books and movies ? Would you agree with this comparison ? What is your experience with both medium ? Do tell me in the comments 🙂
Signing Off & News
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I hope it was entertaining enough! If you liked it, feel free to let me know via email, by subscribing, liking, and/or commenting. You may also check out some more of my work. I also have a Patreon page, a YouTube channel, if you wish to support me there, and a GoodReads account.
You will soon hear about me and Gentoo in new technology-related articles and videos. I finished installing it very recently, so I will be shooting a video as soon as my environnement and I are ready. There still are quite a few programs to compile, to tell you the truth… This is why this article has been slightly delayed too. I only finished the installation yesterday and barely had time to finish it up this morning.
Take care of yourselves,