Friday Follies: fill in 123 books

Books vs Movies

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Suggested by: Superfastreader

Books 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?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

For a minute, I thought this week’s BTT topic was a rerun, but I was just a bit confused (it was 5:30 in the morning) – I was thinking of “books into movies,” which isn’t quite the same thing.

I touched on this idea a little in my post about my book club’s trip to the movies to see Atonement: “I think there was a good transition to cinematic vocabulary. The movie uses visual imagery well, and there’s aren’t a lot of long speeches. While the internal lives of characters never really translate well to film, it works here, and the storytelling is more spare and straightforward…”

One reason I love books is that they let me get inside a character’s thoughts and motivations in a way that’s just not possible in a movie. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes you really need the words. A book also allows me to create my own mental visual imagery; once I’ve seen a filmed adaptation, its images will nearly always overlay my own (Harry Potter looks just like Daniel Radcliffe). Also, sometimes things that ring true on the page don’t work onscreen, and it’s got nothing to do with the story; bad acting and/or direction can be a distraction for me.

On the other hand, if I want just a couple of hours of fast-moving diversion, I’d rather have it in movie form; I think some types of stories, particularly if they’re heavy on plot, action, and/or atmosphere, are just told better that way. A movie is usually a more visceral experience for me, and asks less of my mentally; for the most part, it’s the opposite with books – and of course, there are exceptions on both counts.

I appreciate the fact that this question didn’t ask us to state a books vs. movies preference, because I would have to opt out of answering it. I think it depends on what I want at a particular time.

How would you answer the question? If you already did, please leave a link to your BTT post in the comments!

Friday Fill-Ins #73

Questions courtesy of Michelle this week

1. On my laziest day I like to take an afternoon nap!
2. That last finishing action – stapling the printouts together, crossing something off the to-do list, turning the final page, putting away the cleaning supplies – makes me feel like I’m being productive.
3. I love little fruits and vegetables and big dogs.
4. This summer I want to get to the beach at least once.
5. Reading books, and wanting to keep track of and remember them, made me start my blog.
6. Red rocks, and orange is the color of a big T (Go Vols!).
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to starting a three-day weekend, tomorrow my plans include seeing Indiana Jones at the ArcLight, and Sunday, I want to see what the day brings! (I hope that both Sunday and Monday include some of the three R’s: reading, ‘riting, and relaxing!)

  1. Pick up the nearest book, and open it to page 123.

  2. Find the fifth sentence, and post the next three sentences.

I just started A Family Daughter, by Maile Meloy, a couple of days ago. I read Meloy’s first novel, Liars and Saints, during my vacation last year, and I really liked it – so much that I wanted to savor it for awhile, and wait to read the sequel. I don’t think one has to have read the previous book to pick up on what’s going on in this one, but I’m right back in the lives of the Santerre family. Skipping ahead to page 123, we find this conversation in progress:

“I know she’s unfaithful and I don’t want to get involved again, but I can’t stop thinking about it.”
“That seems like a good reason to get out.”
“But I can’t,” he said.

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  1. So does your Dumbledore look like Richard Harris or the other dude?

    Thanks for playing and hope you have fun this weekend 🙂

  2. Janet – I think he’s a mix. He has Richard Harris’ long hair (wig), but I always thought Harris looked a little too sleepy as Dumbledore, so I think in other respects my Dumbledore looks more like Michael Gambon.

    And could Snape look like anyone other than Alan Rickman? 🙂

  3. One reason I love books is that they let me get inside a character’s thoughts and motivations in a way that’s just not possible in a movie. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes you really need the words.

    So true. I also agree with you about some types of stories being better suited to film.

    Afternoon naps are nice! 🙂
    Enjoy your long weekend.

  4. I’m with you on the visual imagery. I generally won’t see a movie until after I’ve read the book. Some books I’ve never read since I saw the movie and it ruined the book for me.

    Enjoy your long weekend and the new Indy movie.

  5. Tanabata – Movies are more like real life in the sense that you can really only infer what someone’s thinking based on what they say or do; but at least in real life, you can ask questions. In books, the narrator can let you know exactly what’s behind it all.

    Mike – I will probably post a review of the movie unless it totally sucks, so if you don’t see anything about it here within a few days, consider that a warning! 🙂

    I’m not sure seeing the movie before reading the book has ever truly ruined the book for me, but it’s definitely messed with my head while I’m reading the book.

  6. Your response to the BTT question this week says everything I didn’t get the chance to say. Very well put!

    I hope you enjoy the new Indiana Jones movie, Florinda! And enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  7. Literary Feline – I noticed that you didn’t get to participate in BTT this week (the router’s fault, I assume?) – glad I could help :-)!

    Hope you enjoy your weekend too, Wendy!