Library Notes: Books inspire movies

Books often inspire movies. It’s no wonder with all the great stories that have been published.

Sometimes, it’s tempting to skip the book. Watching the movie takes less time, but is it the same as reading? Doing a little internet search will lead you to many articles which passionately argue that the book is almost always best. That’s why J.W. Eagan advised, “Never judge the book by its movie.”

One argument in favor of books is that what we imagine while reading is often better than what we see in the movie. Our imagination can take us to anywhere and each person pictures the story differently. Movies limit us to what the producer imagined.

Books can also make you feel and see more deeply and tend to stay with you longer.

Another rationale is that time constraints on movies can cause the story to feel rushed. Large parts of books sometimes have to be left out of movies. There’s not enough time to fully develop characters, making them less believable. Limited only to dialogue in a movie, it can be hard to depict all that is going on in the characters’ minds.

That being said, there are many excellent movies based on books, and they can be very entertaining to watch after reading the book. It is interesting to see how someone else imagined the same story and nice to experience it again in a different way.

A fun summer idea is to make a list of books to read and then plan to watch the movies after you’re finished. You could do this with a group of friends or as a family with age-appropriate books.

For families, pairing books and films is a great way to keep your youngsters reading over the summer. Studies show that children who don’t read over the summer can lose up to two months of learning by the time they return to school in the fall. For reluctant readers, the excitement of watching the movie afterwards might be just the motivation they need to finish the book.

There’s not enough room to list the oodles of book-to-movie possibilities so I will just list some of the family movies — some soon to be released — of 2018:

1. Peter Rabbit based on The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (Released Feb. 9)

2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (Released March 9)

3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss (To be released Nov. 9)

4. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling. (To be released Nov. 16)

5. Mary Poppins Returns based on Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers (To be released Dec. 25)

6. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, in celebration of the book’s 150th anniversary (To be released sometime in 2018)

Intrigued? We would love to help you find the books and companion movies for your family this summer. Remember, if we don’t have the copy at our library, we can get one for you from another library. Happy reading and viewing!

Becky Oswalt is an early childhood programming specialist for Tiffin-Seneca Public Library.