I went and saw My Sister's Keeper tonight and I saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince a few weeks ago. Having read both books way before I saw the movies, I'm left with a few thoughts. The book is ALWAYS better.
The first movie I remember seeing based on a book was Circle of Friends. This was probably early high school. I LOVED the book. I devoured it whole and was super excited when I found the movie at the library. I immediately checked it out and took it home and watched. Very. dissappointed. Such a let down. I never got over it.
Not only when seeing a movie based on a book do you have to understand that they WILL change things (sometimes your favorite parts) but there are other important things to point out. When you read an unbelievable part in a book, you can reread it immediately. Over and over if you choose. Words can really suck you in and take you to another place. And if you aren't ready to leave that place, then read it again. While a movie can make you cry and provoke instant emotion, it's gone as soon as that scene has left the screen.
True if you have rented the movie you can rewind it but it's not the same. When you enter that place with a book it's easy to block out the 'real world.' If you are in a theater or even in your home there are multiple distractions. There might be your husband or kids right there with you. Even the dog may be sitting there watching you. Watching your reaction, judging your emotion and seeing you laugh, cry or even swoon over what's happening on the screen. When you are reading a book, while you might be in the same room with someone else, they are more than likely not reading the words you are reading. It is more of a private situation. It's you and the book. You and the story. You and your own world you have created.
I love when a story makes me laugh out loud or even when it makes me cry uncontrollably (like The Notebook, When I finished that book I had to call Mark, who was my boyfriend at the time, and he sat on the phone with me as I read the last chapter. The Notebook was the first book in my life that really made me cry.) . When I'm finished with a good book, it can make me feel so complete for that one moment. Sometimes I want to share it with a friend and I'll suggest it to everyone who asks me what I've read lately (this happened when I finished Twilight) or at other times I might want to keep it to myself for the time being. But a good book really needs to be shared.
While everyone who knows me knows I love a good movie. I won't pass up a chance to go to the theater or to Blockbuster, but my one true love is a good book. There is nothing like being in that place that you create for yourself using someone else's words. A movie creates it for you but it's so much more when you create it for yourself.