The movie was better

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.Book to movie

Here are some Book to Movie lists for 2017 (warning some overlap on the lists and a few may not be age appropriate)


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.

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

I’m a dedicated Library Director at The Webb School of Bell Buckle, leveraging my background in higher education libraries to guide students through the crucial transition from school to college and beyond.

I am honored to have served as the AASL Chair for the Independent School Section in 2023 and am excited to begin my upcoming role as Director-At-Large for the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) later this year, following my previous experience as a Member Guide in the AASL Emerging Leaders program. These appointments reflect my commitment to advancing library education and professional development on a national scale.

With experience in state-level leadership through the Tennessee Association of School Librarians (TASL), including serving as TASL President in 2012, I bring a wealth of knowledge to my role. My educational background includes certifications as a Library Information Specialist for PreK-12th grade, a Bachelor of Science in Communications (Advertising & Public Relations), a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies (Education & Information Systems), and a Master’s in Library and Information Science.

Categories: Blog Topics, Collection Development, Student Engagement/ Teaching Models, Technology

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2 replies

  1. 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.

  2. Awesome post!
    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. :)

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