- The researchers in the BBC article reported that the British men they interviewed preferred movie versions of stories to books. Women seem to prefer book versions to movies. Some of us reject the choice! What are some advantages of watching the movie version of a story? What are some advantages about reading the book?
- Usually clocking in at about two hours, movies are a faster way to follow a story.
- Movies are often easier to follow, with streamlined plots, action, and character interactions.
- Books are usually more accessible and affordable than movies. You can check out a book from the library pretty soon after it’s published, for free.
- Books usually provide more backdrop and plot than movies.
- Books are often much more imaginative than movies—it doesn’t cost as much to imagine and describe a foreign world as it does to render it onscreen.
- Think of movies or TV shows you’ve seen that have been adapted from books you’ve read—the Harry Potter franchise, the Hunger Games trilogy, the Twilight saga, the Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, the James Bond series. (Want more? Here’s a great list to get you started.) What changes did filmmakers make when they adapted the book? Do you prefer the book or movie version? Why?
- Characters: Are the characters in the movie similar to the ones in the book? Are there characters that are in the book that aren’t in the movie? Do you think that character changes influence the tone, meaning, or quality of the film? (Many Lord of the Rings fans, for instance, were disappointed at the absence of the character of Tom Bombadil in the movies.)
- Setting: Was the geography of the movie as you imagined it from the book? Did the filmmakers change the setting? (When Alfred Hitchcock made a movie version of Daphne du Maurier’s story The Birds, for instance, he changed the setting from Cornwall, England, to Bodega Bay, California.)
- Plot: Did the filmmakers retain the basic conflict and story of the book? (Stephen King’s The Shining, for instance, has a lot more genuinely supernatural and ghostly elements than the Stanley Kubrick film.)
- Resolution: Does the film end the same way as the book? Is the conflict resolved? (The 1995 adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, for instance, famously changed the entire conclusion of the book.)
- The BBC article was published in advance of World Book Day, April 23. Read about World Book Day in This Day in Geographic History. World Book Day often involves recommending a great book to a friend. Take a look at our “Nature and the Environment” book list, and our “Geography Goes to the Movies” list. Have you read any of those books? Seen any of those movies? What books would you recommend to geography-loving friends? What movies?
- Right now, I’m reading The Book of Legendary Lands by Umberto Eco, my favorite author. It’s all about imagined landscapes, from 221B Baker Street to the 100 Acre Wood. Unfortunately, I can’t imagine there being a movie made about such a scholarly analysis.
- As for movies, you cannot, cannot, get a better lesson in geography than The Warriors. It’s based on a book, as well as an awesome story from ancient Greece.