Books To Movies… “Heck Yeah!” or “Hell’s No!”


As readers/book lovers I believe we take the reading experience quite personally.  From the discussions I have had here at Book Journey to the discussions I have participated in or just read all over the web, books can touch our very innermost soul.  They make us laugh, cry, become angry, and take us to places we may never step foot in if not for the book.  The characters become a part of us… we may know them, or wish we could know them.  Some books cause us to wear t-shirts saying ‘Team ______________”, and some make us publicly defend their honor.  Some books stay with us for years afterwards, and just thinking of them brings up fond emotions as we gush to a friend, “It’s one of my all time favorites!”

Now… let’s say (Insert a Favorite book title here) is going to become a movie.  Enter Joe the Director (yeah, for this post we will call him ‘Joe’).  Now Joe has big – BIG ideas of how he is going to turn your beloved book into a movie.  He has a vision and you start to hear and see the hub bub of who might play this character or that one….



BUT (and it’s a big one, I will not lie) what if this Director, Joe Whats-his-face’s vision does not line up with what you or I had felt was the heart of the book?  What if Joe takes the book an entirely different direction and now what you loved, what you admired, seems to be gone…

Are you in camp:

A.  I hate it when my favorite books become movies – it ruins what I loved about the book.  I do not see movies that were made from books.

B.  I am so excited when a book becomes a movie, I LOVE to see what they will bring out on the screen and how their vision may differ from my own.

C.  I am ok with a book becoming a movie as long as they stick true to the nature of the book – like when ____________________ became a movie.

D.  I have no opinion either way…. I am just reading the post to see what you are up to. 😀

E.  Other


I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.  Can you choose a camp you fall into?  Can you name a book to movie that was extremely successful in your opinion?  Can you name a book to movie that was an epic fail? 



43 thoughts on “Books To Movies… “Heck Yeah!” or “Hell’s No!”

  1. My choice is “B,” because I do like to see what the film adds to my experience of the book. Even if that experience is different from the one projected on the Big Screen. Either way, it doesn’t take away from my reading experience. And in some cases (as in The Help or Julie/Julia), I might enjoy the movie even more than the book.

  2. I love when a book becomes a movie. I think it adds to the character of the book. What most people dont realize is that books and movies are two very different mediums and that needs to be taken into consideration.

  3. I”m going with D on this one 😉

    That being said…I don’t like with they mess up the spirit of the book. If you want to make a movie that’s all your own, then why do you pay big bucks to buy the book-to-movie rights? Haven’t you discovered that book lovers are vocal people and may trash your movie?


    1. Ha! Also a great comment. Rarely do I come out of a theater liking the movie more than the book, although it has happened. I have however come to appreciate the movie version even if it does not come off exactly as the book did – IE. Hunger Games, The Twilight Movies….. and I LOVED all the Harry Potter movies 🙂

  4. I’m kinda with B – since I don’t mind when books become movies. I like to see how it’s interpreted – and I expect changes to be made … it’s not the same medium afterall.

  5. I love it. There have been disappointments (Percy Jackson) and there are always things missing if I’ve read the book first, but I just went to see The Hobbit–one of my favorite books since I was eleven and one that I have almost memorized–and it was great.

  6. I am in camp B. I always think it is a plus to see books made into movies-it gets people interested in reading the books that otherwise might not have picked them up. Movies don’t always live up to the books but in some cases they are just as good (The Lord of the Rings, The Help) or better (Breaking Dawn Parts 1 &2) than the book.

    I just saw The Hobbit yesterday and was really pleased with it. It is more dramatic in tone and similar to LOTR than the book but I was okay with the changes.

  7. I fall into B. I like to watch the movie after reading a book to see what similarities / differences there are. Usually though I find I’m glad I read the book first or I prefer the book.

  8. Usually I’m good at separating the book and movie version in my mind. But with a lot of books, there’s always a scene or two you wish you could see come to life, and if the director flubs that scene I HATE THE ENTIRE MOVIE. I don’t even care if the rest of the movie was okay; if a director can’t identify the important scenes in a book and then bring them to life, I just… I don’t even. On the flip side, if they nail those scenes, then I like the movie. Period.

  9. I would go with C. I love certain movies that were once books, and I do understand that sometimes they have to make adjustments to the storylines or the number of characters, but I hate it when they invent new characters, new storylines or skip important storylines and characters. If the book is not good enough to make into a movie, why use the book in the first place?

    Kind regards,

  10. I’m never sure about seeing a movie from a book, ESPECIALLY if it’s a book I loved. There have been good and bad experiences. I hate when they change things drastically like in the Horse Whisperer. Robert Redford’s character died in the book. In the movie, he lived. Reason, because the character he played in his most recent movie prior to it died and producers didn’t think his fans could take it if he died two movies in a row?!?!?! How screwy can you be?!

  11. I am in camp A. I never will see a movie thats been made into a book, and I wont read a book after its already been made into a movie. It truly ruins my book experience.

  12. It depends on the book. I was super excited for The Hunger Games because it made sense as a movie. I’m dreading World War Z because it is one of my favorite books because of its format which can’t be translated into a movie.

  13. I guess I fall into the curmudgeonly camp A. Although I break my rule occasionally for the sake of seeing a movie with my husband/family (Harry Potter, LOTR, for example), I haven’t seen most of the books made into movies. I really loved Cloud Atlas, and don’t particularly want to see the movie. I didn’t go to The Help, The Hunger Games, Twilight, or The Time Traveler’s Wife, so yeah, I guess I’m definitely in Camp A. 😉
    I DEFINITELY don’t watch movies of beloved children’s books, Charlotte’s Web, Stuart LIttle, Where the Wild Things Are, The Golden Compass, Grinch remakes, etc. Ugh!

  14. I’m C – there are movie versions I love of books, but it can often go horribly awry as well. Good ones in recent years would be…John Carter, Harry Potter (mostly), Bridge to Terabithia…and The Hobbit, of course! While in theory I can respect the director’s right to take his/her own interpretation of the story…in practice I have fits if I feel like the movie was completely untrue to the spirit of the original book. *Especially* if it’s a big hit, and everyone who hasn’t read the book then thinks they know what it’s about!

  15. I’m a C on this. Loved Lord of the Rings, Gone With The Wind, and The Secret Garden. Not so happy with the Twilight series, most of the Harry Potter after “Prisoner” and Enchanted April. It just depends. Would we rather not be able to watch Gregory Peck in “To Kill A Mockingbird” because we hated “The Help? (I did like that)”

    It’s a tangle!

  16. I’m usually excited to see the book come to the big screen, and then half the time I’m disappointed with the end result. If it’s a book I loved, I will almost always see it even though I may dislike it. I just saw The Hobbit today and I really enjoyed it, despite some changes Peter Jackson made to the book.

  17. I am definitely an A or a C. But so far, there have been a couple of movies that actually lived up to the books for me: Fight Club and Life of Pi. However, usually I don’t even like seeing book adaptation movies because they usually do not live up to my expectations.

  18. For me, it varies. I’m often excited when a favorite novel is adapted to screen, but I’m afraid they’ll screw it up. *LOL* I approach movie adaptations with caution. For example, I liked the novel The Help and I was looking forward to the movie. But when negative reviews of the film started coming out, I decided to skip it.

    I used to be a diehard “read the book first” type, but more and more often, these days, I prefer to watch the film first. I go into the movie with an open mind, and no preconceived expectations, then the book fills in more details about the story and characters.

  19. I guess I am in the C camp. I do get excited when a favorite book is made into a movie, but I really hate it when the movie differs greatly from the book (like with One for the Money by Janet Evanovich, where they chose big name actors who weren’t even close to the characters in the books). But I think the movie directors and producers often get things really right – like Water for Elephants, The Namesake, the Harry Potter movies, and many others. I can’t wait to see The Life of Pi!


  20. As long as I see the movie first, before I read the book, I’m okay. It’s only when I’ve read the book, and in some cases the comic books as a kid, that I tend to run into problems. Even if the movie is okay, I’m constatnly comparing it to the book.

    I thought Peter Jackson did a good job with the Lord of the Ring books, and I’m ready to see the Hobbit. The Harry Potter movies were okay. The Neverending Story was better than most movie adaptations. And I enjoyed the movie version of The Road.

    But movies like Eragon, Where the Wild Things Are, and Queen of the Dammned, are monstrosities of the book, and should never have been made.

    Some of my favorite movies adaptations of books, are of books I’ve never read. Auntie Mame and Charlotte’s Web being two of them.

    Now if you ever want to talk about remakes of classic movies or making a TV show into a movie, I have plenty to say about that 🙂

  21. I am definitely a B kinda girl. Wait a minute, I hope that doesn’t refer to ALL things!?! But books to movies – yes m’am!

    My imagination is so limited as compared to those who see with “movie – eyes”. They see whole scenes unfold, they collaborate with details that I may have missed and the discovery of how others see things is my favorite part. I may not like it the same way but that’s perfect.

    I guess it’s like going to book group and finding the different take we all have on the same book. It’s always surprising how we all read the same words and characters so differently. Our discussion is then much more meaningful and I leave knowing that there are more eyes and opinions than mine in this great big world. LOVE IT!

    Hope your Christmas was Merry. Make time for yourself!

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