From Screen to Shelf

Movies and books often go hand in hand. That can be a wonderful thing but it also has a downside. Many people will see a movie and then think there is no need to read the book because they already know what happened. There is nothing left to surprise them. No reason to read it at all. It reminds me of the kids who would rent the movie and write a report based off of that thinking that it was the same. The reason they didn’t get away with that is because movies are often a condensed version of the book, things get cut in order to make it a fast paced interesting show. I enjoy books and movies.

I am one of those people that will see a movie and if I really like it I will read the book. The most recent one that has gone onto my list is My Sister’s Keeper. I put off watching this movie because I heard it was incredibly heart wrenching. I finally watched it a few months ago. I very much look forward to reading the book because I know it is going to be more in depth, there will be things that are so different. I love discovering those differences but with this one I know it is emotional. I do not normally read books that are sad. It is sitting in my to be read pile because I just cannot pick up the book yet.

Another book I have yet to read is The Hunger Games. Again, I did not watch the movie when it first came out. I only ended up watching it because I was up late one night bottle feeding a new born pup. My sister and daughter had watched it together and both told me it was good. I decided to go ahead and watch it. It was alright, I liked it enough that I did not turn it off once I got the pup taken care of. I finished the movie. I was told that the book is much better. I assume that it is. I bought it but have not read it yet. It is one of those books that I will read eventually simply because I want to see the differences. I did not love the movie, I know a lot of people do love the movie and the ones that have followed it. I am just not one of those people.

There are movies that have caused me to re-read a book. Does this count? I hope so. I love the book Little Women. I read it so often when I was younger that I wore through a book and had to buy a new one. I watched the version with Winona Rider. I read the book again. Watching the movie brought back the story for me so that I needed to curl up with the book and really get into it. I’ve seen more than one version of Little Women and I do think the book is always better. I enjoy seeing how the directors, producers, screenwriters, actresses, and actors turn this classic into their own story.

I also re-read Narnia when the movies came out. I loved seeing that world put on the screen. It came to life and my children fell in love with something I had already loved but I had not seen on the screen. I got the books and read them to my children. Both the movies and books were enjoyable, each in their own right. Each with the same story line, just one in more depth and detail.

I have gone from screen to shelf. Usually with books I have already read, but perhaps have not read in years and I want to get the meat of the story once again. Movies can be a great way to get people interested in books. My own kids have talked about movies and then I tell them “That’s based on a book.” Next thing I know they are reading the book. There was a little girl who had watched the new Little House on the Prairie movie (I think Disney did it, not sure I didn’t watch it). I heard her talking to some of her friends in class about it and told her that was based off of a series of books that were written by the real Laura Ingalls. The girl got excited and I sent her down to the school library to request Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Movies have a way to get people interested in books when they may not normally be prone to reading. They want to know more about the story so they seek out the book.

Are there any movies that have caused you to go back and pick up a book you’ve not read in some time or not read at all?


About Angela Schroeder

Angela Schroeder is a single mother of three. She was born and raised in Iowa in a river town known for its pearl buttons. Having four siblings, she never lacked for someone to play with. As she grew older, she found herself pulled into books and writing more and more. Her parents are her heroes, her siblings her confidants and tormentors, and her children are a wonderful blessing. Church is important to her children and her. They enjoy the friendships they’ve made with the people there. Writing has always been a passion. Her first experience was in fifth grade when she went to a one-day writing conference. After that she knew it was something she wanted to pursue.
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4 Responses to From Screen to Shelf

  1. jeff7salter says:

    “from screen to shelf” — I like that way of phrasing it.
    Yes, I have several examples, which I’ll share on Hound Day tomorrow.
    But let me, here, cite an example which amazes me still — but not my OWN example.
    After the wildly popular success of the Harry Potter movies, I heard of many kids — youngsters in Jr. H.S. or even Elem. Sch. — getting the books and reading them — all 1000 pages !
    And, you guessed it, one of those ids was my own grandson who was under age 10 at the time. i still don’t know how he was able to digest a 1k-page book at that age. I doubt I could have done so at his age and I was an AVID reader.


  2. Very thoughtfully written,Angie. I can’t bring myself to follow The Hunger Games; I think it’s just too much for me. But I agree, there are many reasons to read the book after seeing a movie, almost always, much is lost, as in the Harry Potter series. But sometimes, much is gained, and you’ll read about those on Friday.
    I know the one test that used to be given on the book, All’s Quiet on the Western Front. The teachers always asked about potato pancakes.Those who failed the test always wondered what potato pancakes had to do with literature, but since that part of the story is never in any of the movie versions, it weeded-out the movie-watching cheaters!
    Great post.


    • I always wondered how the teachers knew who read the book as to who watched the movie when I was younger.
      My kids and I will read a book together and then watch a movie based off of it. I love hearing my kids talk about the differences between the two.
      I look forward to reading your post. 🙂


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