Is the book always better than the movie?
My spouse prefers nonfiction reading. But when it comes to novels we have a little inside joke, where he says “I’ll wait for the movie.” As a librarian, I want to reply “but the book is better.” But I wonder, are there times when it could go either way? My family loves to watch a great movie together and going to a movie is actually a holiday tradition of ours. In 2017 some great reads are coming to theaters and I cannot wait to check them out. One film adaptation I am particularly looking forward to is The Circle based on the Dave Eggers novel. I also really want to see Hidden Figures with my daughters who are math/science girls.
Here are some Book to Movie lists for 2017 (warning some overlap on the lists and a few may not be age appropriate)
- Book Riot – 12 Book-to-Screen Adaptations to Watch in 2017
- MTV – 24 Books To Read Before They Come To a Screen Near You
- Huffington Post – 16 Book-to-Film Adaptations
Could a movie be better than a book?
There are those occasions when technology has enabled filmmakers to really enhance a story visually. A few examples where one could argue the movie is better might be Thurber’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty or perhaps the film adaptations of Chris Van Allsburg books The Polar Express or Jumanji. I know one time when a movie is definitely better than a book. That time is when I cannot convince a student to read the book but I can interest them in the movie. If they watch the movie at least the information and the story adds to their education. Sure, it is often an abridged version but it is is better than no version at all.
Book-to-movie promotions in the school library
Book-to-movie promotions and displays can be great tools in the school library. You can find thousands of display ideas online, especially on Pinterest. Sometimes, students will determine to read the books before they see the movie. This also leads to critical thinking when students automatically compare and contrast the film adaptation of the book.
- The 20 Best Kids Movies Adapted from Children’s Books
- Pinterest – search for Read Box, Book to Movie Display, Read the Book before the Movie
Should we continue to collect physical movies in our school libraries?
With the rapid change in technology, librarians are questioning whether or not to collect physical movies. Last year our library discarded the remaining VHS collection. Currently we have about 800 DVDs and a few Blu-rays in our physical collection. However, we are beginning to question the longevity of this collection given the already high use of digital downloads among our students and faculty. Archivists can determine the best preservation method for keeping these items long-term, but who is to say what format will catch on next.
Author: Hannah Byrd Little
Hello, I am the Library Director at The Webb School of Bell Buckle. I use my past experience in college and university libraries to help my current students in school libraries transition into college, career, and life. I am currently the lead Senior Class Adviser for the Capstone Project. I also served at the state level with the Tennessee Association of School Librarians executive board from 2009-2013 and was the TASL president in 2012. I am certified as a Library Information Specialist for PreK-12th grade, have a BS in Communications with a concentration in Advertising and Public Relations, a BS in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Education and Information Systems and a Masters in Library and Information Science.
Categories: Blog Topics, Collection Development, Student Engagement/ Teaching Models, Technology
Thanks for the great article! I’m a school librarian and I’m actually teaching an elective this marking period called “Books to Movies.” This will be a great piece to share with my class.
I really love the movie of Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl, but I didn’t like the book as much. Interestingly, both book and screenplay were written by Jesse Andrews, so I don’t feel guilty for liking the movie better. :)