Are Books Better?

Books vs Movies

Alexis Isca and Aiden Foley, Reporters


Movies are entertaining: you just sit back and relax and you don’t really have to use your mind or imagination. However, books allow you to use your imagination and create the world the author wrote in your own way. The benefits of reading far outweigh the entertainment movies provide.

     According to good, when you read, your brain gets so much mental stimulation. If you read on a regular basis it can slow Alzheimers and Dementia. For your brain to stay healthy and alert, it needs exercise. Reading (along with puzzles and certain games) keeps your activity levels high and your brain power nice and strong.

     There’s a reason why certain books are ‘the classics’ because no matter who reads them, they’ll enjoy it. You can imagine the characters as you and your friends, and maybe you and your friends can read the book together, or have a little book club to talk about it and how you felt throughout the book. This could allow you to get so much closer with your friends.

     Books also make you more empathetic. According to, “Literary fiction readers have a higher ability to empathize with others’ emotions and thoughts than those who read mainly nonfiction. In other words, fiction readers can be more empathetic, and have an easier time seeing a situation from various perspectives, just by reading about their favorite characters.” 

     Authors write books in a way that allows you to visualize in your own mind what the characters look like to you. You feel connected to the book, and you feel like you’re a part of this world that the author wrote. 

     Some people just like a certain saga of books, some people like just a whole genre in general and, some people just like different kinds of books of all genres, for their plots, their characters, the way the book makes you feel. When we read, we become less stressed. As we read more, it gets easier for our brains to relax and temporarily put ourselves somewhere else. When you read your stress evaporates, you’re in the main character’s shoes and you’re focused on the words you’re reading and absorbing.

     If you love a book so much, you might want to see it adapted onto the silver screen but that makes you lose connection with the story because the characters will look nothing like you imagined. Perhaps your favorite part of the book gets cut out to save time and money, but seeing that scene was one of the reasons why you wanted to see the movie. This often leaves people disappointed and sometimes wishing they had never watched to movie at all.

     Books such as To Kill a Mockingbird and Moby Dick have huge cult followings and have both been adapted into movies but the movies are less talked about. Both movies and books give you an escape but only one of them puts you into the world itself. Books open up a world that never existed before, or a world that could possibly exist in the future. And you could be right in the action itself while reading. 

     The word reading has a negative connotation now because it could be condoned as boring. However, if you find a book series that makes you feel the same way your favorite movie or tv show makes you feel, you open up a new world you never knew you needed. 

     Reading can improve your memory; the small details of a book might be important in a different part of the book or the next book in the series. Remembering all the details of a character, their personality, their habits, the way they talk, the way they dress, where they’re from, it’s all included in the book for a reason.  Remembering these details can help you understand the character and their thought process for future choices they make.

     If you’re reading a book and it seems like it’s not the best fit even if it sounds super interesting, that’s okay. You don’t have to keep reading it. If you want to, you can power through it and see if it gets better to you. Don’t think too much about the book while reading it, just read the book and absorb everything. Before you notice it, you’ve changed the way you think and see the world. Movies do not make such long lasting impacts on viewers that books do on readers. As you’ve probably heard someone say, “the book is always better.”


Think of a novel. Understand that a novel is an extended work of text that tells a story. This story may be a work of fiction, or an autobiography based upon real experiences- either way, a book, of the novelic variety, requires some form of imagination. As does the technical theatricality involved in the adaptation and recreation of a film. So think, then, of adaptations. Adaptations are often seen as the lesser and rather unspeakable version of a story in light of a book. Though that is not quite fair, in fact, one could argue that the opposite is true. Because of the creative merit involved in film making, the ability to condense and market an epic, and the creative liberation involved, movies are typically better than the book they are made from. 

    There is a genius that often goes unnoticed in the talent required to make a film- even a bad film. As the director, screen writers and script writers are all designated- in the case of an adapted novel -to taking the feelings, thoughts and views of a character and moving that into a visual form. An example would be in the film Twilight 2008. The director Catherine Hardwicke said to StudioBinder, “The next thing (Hardwicke) does in putting the audience in Bella’s shoes involves setting up an unconventional shot. When James pushes Bella against the wall, getting uncomfortably close to her neck, they are to the far-right side (the trapped side) of the frame.” There was a calculated move made to portray a situation told by a first person character for an audience who cannot hear the thoughts of the character. Demonstrating just how thoroughly a mainstream adaptation has to calculate. And disproving the accusations of laziness made by die-hard fans of book predecessors. Once more, this is an act of creative decision. A valid knowledge of creation and technicality in the industry to portray a story. 

    The second advantage to the movie, the adaptation of a book, is its ability to send this creation into the mass media. During the launch of a novel, the marketing campaign will include ads being taken out on Good Reads, Audible, or other various widely used “bookish” websites. Perhaps the author will do signings or giveaways. The way a film is marketed? Fifty foot ads being posted through Times Square, having roughly 380,000 pedestrian eyes pass over it for every day it is up. And if books did maintain that sort of marketability- in the case of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Divergent etc. -would it work quite as well as with movies? For example, would the Iliad, or would Troy 2004 garner more reaction? Troy grossed 497.4 (The million US dollars. And, well, what is the Iliad again? 

    On that note, a movie takes a lot more money to make than a book does- It tends to gain more as well. The reasons for that are simple: The media loves images. 

    That isn’t to say that books do not contain beautiful images, as they require imagination. But think again to some of the most cinematic, and highest grossing, films of all time- Star Wars 1977, Lord of the Rings 2001, Titanic 1997. All of them more than tripled their initial budgets in the box office. And while two of the three (Star Wars a New Hope and Lord of the Rings) are adaptations, all three made significantly more money than, say, Cry to Heaven by Anne Rice. 

        Another very interesting note, creative liberation. What does that mean? Sometimes, an adaptation is better than an original work because of the changes made to the story in the process of adaptation. For example: many will say that the film Pride and Prejudice 2005 had an ability to take a down-to-earth, relatively boring novel and add to it the imagery, music and cast to draw a significantly larger demographic. The creators cut out the fat, pulled down the run time. They took out all the iffy parts of a good novel, and made it into a great film that appealed to the masses. Pirating films is illegal, but if you haven’t seen it- do. 

        The point is this: books are great, fabulous creations derived from the minds of interesting people. But movies are all that, with an addition of technical understanding. And movies are much more marketable than books, and will receive a significantly more drastic monetary gain.