Book Snobbery

I have always despised the people who went around saying, “Oh my, the book was SO much better.” I mean, how pretentious is that?

Oh my, I am one of those people.

I never saw James and the Giant Peach. I didn’t see the Willy Wonka movies until the new one came out and you know the first one has been out forever. I only saw the first Romeo and Juliet movie because I had to watch it in class my junior year of high school.

What is this phenomenon about turning books into movies anyway? The book was so great so it will be even better as a movie? Not necessarily.

Take the book and movie “I Am Number Four”. Poorly written and clearly written for the intention of an easy transition into a screenplay. The movie was just… okay. Now replace the book title with “The Devil Wears Prada”. Same exact criticism with better actors. I mean, you cannot go wrong with Anne and Meryl. (Ha! Anne and Meryl. As if we are on a first name basis.)

I won’t even go there for the Twilight series not because it’s a Team-Twilight-VS-Team-Potter. Apples and oranges, dudes. No competition for teen angst to go up against a beloved well-written series, right? Still heart my teen angst occasionally.

It is not so much as a snobbery towards non-readers but the terrible assumption that people don’t read.

They do.

You simply cannot compare an avid reader to one who reads a little because the differences are vast, mostly in terms of hoarding storing books. If someone hears that their friends are reading a book that touches them, that person will go out and read that book. Oprah, Rosie, and e-readers are calling out to readers. They are listening.

My biggest fear for my kids, and all kids for that matter, is that they will not love reading for even a fraction that I do. I told my students (and still do) that I usually don’t watch a movie that was a (well-written) book for one simple reason.

I valued my imagination more than the vision of a team from Hollywood.

Yes, book snobbery there. I know. It has taken three decades to get over that though. It doesn’t kill me now to watch the movie but there is that little, and sometimes loud, voice that is constantly comparing the movie to the book.

This morning I had to tell myself to SHUT UP.

Don’t worry. No spoilers here. I LOVED THE BOOKS but the movie was pretty damn good.


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