I was having a conversation with a coworker last night about the movie I was watching right before I left for work. It was “I Am Number Four.” She asked how the movie was, because she had only read the book. We didn’t really have time to discuss it more, because well, we were working.
However, I was thinking to myself about the correlation between books and movies, and people’s perceptions when a movie is made vastly different than the original book. We didn’t have anything to compare to because I had not read the book, and vice versa, she had not seen the movie.
I am not that much of a book reader anymore. I wish I was, because I think it would drastically enrich my writing skills. However, when I was younger, I read a ton of books. I had a favorite author, Gordon Korman. My parents bought me a set of four of his books for Christmas one year. The set contained “This Can’t Be Happening at MacDonald Hall,” “The War With Mr. Wizzle,” “Go Jump in the Pool,” and “Beware the Fish.” I remember all four titles because I read them repeatedly growing up. They were about a couple of guys in a Boarding School in Canada for boys, who happened to live across the street from a Boarding School for girls. The stories were so well written from a young boy’s perspective, that I felt as if I knew each one of the characters personally. In fact, I really did believe I would have been great friends with Bruno and Boots.
The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books were another favorite couple series of mine. I owned and read probably at least twenty of each series. My sister used to own almost the whole collection of The Babysitter’s Club series, and I read them religiously, as well.
After I graduated high school, my book reading drastically diminished. I have read quite a few books since then, but mostly I read articles, magazines, newspapers, blogs, etc. They are short, concise, and to the point.
Thinking back about a book comparison to a movie, I can really only think of a couple. “Harry Potter” (the first one), was almost exactly as the book described. It was a long time ago since I’ve read the book, or watched the movie, so I could be mistaken. I do remember “knowing” what was going to happen next in the movie almost the entire time.
Another comparison I can make is Encyclopedia Brown. My coworker is too young to remember the Encyclopedia Brown television series on HBO, but I remember it vividly. Sally Kimball in the books was a bad ass. She protected Leroy “Encyclopedia” Brown from Bugs, and she was smart, too! Encyclopedia Brown has been around in books, and even in cartoons for years, so I’m sure she is familiar with his name. However, as a kid, reading those books, then watching the series play out in front of my eyes was awesome! Sally Kimball and I would have been fantastic friends (if you know what I mean).
To my coworker, I’m not sure if the movie is better than the book. You should watch the movie and let me know. I’m probably not going to read the book now that I already know how it ends. However, you did make me want to go find pictures of my old crush on Laura Bridge (Sally Kimball).