Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 19, 2014

At the Library

By Bailey Anderson, Washington Public Library | Nov 11, 2013

There could be an entire industry dedicated to turning books into movies. The movies often get widespread praise prior to their release, but when they’re released there’s one reaction that describes the opinion of the majority: “The book was better.”

It’s been years since I adopted the practice of reading the book before I see the movie, and I always recommend it to anyone who wishes to see the movie version of a book.

The reason is multi-faceted and the first is the most obvious. The book is always better than the movie. It might be the intellectual feel to reading, the vivid descriptions or the ability to insert a more complicated plot line into text, which is to blame for this phenomenon, or it might be Hollywood’s tendency to leave out characters, details and vital scenes to the story.

The second reason is it takes some extra thought. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’d rather go into a movie knowing what would happen than start a book knowing how it’s going to end. Between movie trailers and the overall archetypal tendencies of filmmakers, I usually go into a movie knowing what’s going to happen anyway.

If I don’t read the book first, I leave the movie theater with a strong desire to read the book the movie was based on, which ultimately ends with reading the first few chapters and nothing more.

The book isn’t what it’s meant to be after the reader has seen the movie version. In the reader’s mind, there is already a picture of what happens and what each character looks like, but the idea the movie placed in the reader’s head may or may not be what the author had in mind.

Readers who start with the movie tend to go into a book with a clear idea of what the book is about, and because they’ve seen its plot on screen already, rarely change it to be what the author meant.

"The Book Thief," "The Maze Runner" and "Catching Fire" are just a few examples of books that will soon have a screen-based counterpart. Here at the library, we have a copy (maybe even two copies) of these books, because we know it’s better to read the book first.

Gifts & Memorials

The Double Rider by Max Brand, War in Lincoln County by Dane Coolidge, Mirage by Clive Cussler, The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith, & No Man's Nightingale by Ruth Rendell given in memory of David R. McDaniel

Adult Fiction

Glittering Promises by Lisa T. Bergren, The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Renunion by Fannie Flagg, Greetings from the Flipside by Rene Gutteridge, Spider Woman's Daughter by Anne Hillerman, A Catered Affair by Sue Margolis, Coming Clean by Sue Margolis, Starhawk by Jack McDevitt, The Hidden Life by Adina Senft, The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan, Board Stiff by Elaine Viets

Large Print Fiction

The Spymistress by Jennifer Chiaverini, The Final Cut by Catherine Coulter

Young Adult Fiction

Full-Ride by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Juvenile Fiction

The Nameless Hero by Lee Bacon, The Wolf Princess by Cathryn Constable, Moxie & the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne, A Diamond in the Desert by Kathryn Fitzmaurice, Bully.com by Joe Lawlor, Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

Adult Nonfiction

Coupon Crazy by Mary Potter Kenyon, The Van Meter Visitor by Chad Lewis, How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, & Live Prosperously by Jerrold Mundis, So That's What They're For by Janet Tamaro, Grow by Eleanor C. Whitney, Southern Living Annual Recipes 2013, Taste of Home Annual Recipes 2014

Audio CDs

MaddAdam by Margaret Atwood, Hen of the Woods by Steve Brill, What Doesn't Kill Her by Max Allan Collins, The Black Box by Michael Connelly, Sinatra & Me by Tony Consiglio, The Final Cut by Catherine Coulter, The Tombs by Clive Cussler, Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich, Death Angel by Linda Fairstein, The Last Man by Vince Flynn, Catch Me by Lisa Gardner, The Last Witness by W. E. B. Griffin, The First Prophet by Kay Hooper, Twist by John Lutz, Three Sisters by Susan Mallery, Who Asked You? by Terry McMillan, Out of Order by Sandra Day O'Connor, The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts, The Sins of the Mother by Danielle Steel

 

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