I do not watch a movie adaptation after reading a book if I liked the book.
Yes, I know, you're probably gasping at me and clutching your pearls. Everyone (except for the ONE other person I've found who also doesn't watch adaptations) looks at me like I have three heads when I tell them this. After 14 years or so of telling this to people, I'm used to it.
But now is my chance to explain *why* I have made this decision! Of course I have reasons; I always have reasons. And then you can either tell me you feel the same way and we can commiserate on the woes of movie adaptations, or you can tell me why you love them and do watch them, and then we can all understand each other while we sing Kumbaya around the campfire :-)
It started when the first Harry Potter movie came out. That must’ve been the first movie adaptation I ever saw because I remember being so excited and expecting such perfection… only to realize the movie was wrong. It wasn’t that the movie was bad, it was just different. And I couldn’t handle that. I never re-watched it, never watched another Harry Potter movie, never again, that I can recall, watched a single movie based on a book that I liked.
I understand now that books and movies are completely different forms of media, and you have to think of adaptations as being separate things because what works in a book doesn’t always work on the screen. That’s why they’re called adaptations. But the little (or even big) ways in which books and their movies differ is not actually the problem for me. What I can’t deal with is how the movies differ from what’s in my head.
See, one of the things I love most about reading is creating my own picture in my head. Seeing the movie, or even seeing pictures of the cast, robs me of my own pictures. And once those pictures have been replaced, I can never get them back. Maybe other people are talented enough to keep their images separate from the actors, the sets, etc., but I am not. I will literally cover my computer screen with my hands while scrolling through an article, Pinterest board, Goodreads review, etc. if I have to in order to keep from seeing actors or dream casts. And while other bookworms are dying for their favorite books to become movies, I’m over here thinking that it would be my nightmare if that were to happen to my favorites! If I was a good artist and could draw from my mind, I would draw out every character I like just to make sure I’m able to keep them forever. Hell, I’d draw the settings too, just for good measure 😉
But oddly enough, the reverse doesn’t apply. I have no issue reading a book after seeing a movie because there’s no picture in my head yet to be robbed of. I do end up picturing the actors most of the time when I read, but at least I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything.
I’ve had a few semi-exceptions recently though. When I started reading The Maze Runner and Divergent series, after being introduced to the characters, I looked up the actors figuring I’d inevitably end up seeing them on the internet anyway. But, for whatever reason, my brain never really pictured Dylan O’Brien as Thomas, and when I saw what Four/Tobias looked like? My brain pretty much just went, “What??? That’s not even remotely what he looks like,” and then it stuck to the original picture it created. So maybe my brain powers are getting stronger?
Regardless of my brain powers though, and regardless of how weird other people think it is, I still plan on sticking to my rule. It’s what makes me happy, and that’s what being a bookworm is all about!