Several years ago, back when I was in high school, I readJurassic Park by Michael Crichton. I was enthralled. It was great science fiction, had a good deal of science, and was intelligent. I enjoyed the book very much. I later watched the movie when it came out. While I was impressed by the special effects, and I really enjoyed seeing the dinosaurs, I felt that the story was lacking. The story was a bit different than the book, and wasn’t nearly as intelligent. The movie was almost all action and special effects. It didn’t satisfy the story lover in me.
After that, I was determined to read the book before I watched the movie. I read Lord of the Rings a year before the movies came out. I read the Harry Potter books before I watched any of the movies. In both cases, I enjoyed the experience of seeing a familiar story unfold on the big screen (or on DVD), but I felt that the book was better. However,Lord of the Rings was extremely well done as an adaptation of a novel.
At the moment, I’m reading A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. There’s a TV series based on his novels out right now, and I haven’t touched it at all. I won’t watch it until after I’ve read the books. I just feel that I can gain so much more by reading the book before seeing the movie. I can imagine what the world is like first, then see how they made it look in the TV series or movie. If I watch it first, then read the book, my imagination doesn’t work very hard. I just picture the actors and the scenes that I remember from TV or the movie. I want to use my imagination. Therefore, I will read the book first.
How about you? What do you prefer to do? Book first or TV series/movie first?