I feel like it has sort of been a tradition to read a book before an adaptation is released, especially when it has been promoted for centuries and hyped up. I mean, if the book(s) have been out for ages, I get it. Kinda makes sense especially if you have no idea about an adaptation even being considered yet. If you discover the book or book series, go ahead, read to your heart’s content.
I have found in my short life time so far, that if I find there is a movie or TV show to be released very soon and find only at last minute that a book or book series exists, I generally don’t read it beforehand. Either cause I’m too busy, or I was completely oblivious and don’t keep up with what’s happening in the world.
In saying that, I have found I do like to read books after the movies. Here is why:
- I don’t have huge expectations – We all know movies and TV shows leave out details. Literally always. So if I haven’t already read the books then I can’t be a critic about it and get disappointed with anything. I can actually sit and enjoy the movie or show. Examples of times where I’ve watched before I’ve read are: Twilight, Game of Thrones, and Harry Potter (I’m actually a diehard fan of the Harry Potter books but they were first released before I was born and I grew up in a video store. Go figure, lol.)
- I am so much more curious when I actually read the books after viewing the adaptation – I already know the story, so finding new details always leaves me curiouser and curiouser. It’s like finding hidden treasures on the adventure. I also like to compare what new things I find with what was shown in the adaptation. It’s quite satisfying for me.
- When I view the adaptation beforehand, I’m not so worked up with expectations of the ending – I know it’s weird but, when I’m reading books I get super anxious about how it’s going to end! Mainly thriller books, but it happens with most books with me anyway. This can also be a negative thing though, as it takes that element of surprise away. I hate surprises though. I guess it is just better for me.
I will say that I have mixed emotions about visualising characters in my mind while reading if I have watched the adaptation first. Sometimes when I read the book afterwards, I find that the description of the character in the book suits the actor on screen, so I am satisfied. If I find that there’s something wrong like different eye colours or something to that extent, as much as it’s petty, it bugs me. In this case, it would be the exact same results if I read the book first and then watched the adaptation. There is literally no difference with this point.
What do you guys think? Do you prefer to read before or after viewing an adaptation? I’d love to read your reasons why in the comments! 🙂