Are books better than films?

In recognition of the 20th anniversary of World Book Day, Isabella Jones produced a report on why she believes reading a novel is a far better experience than merely watching a movie.

It is a damning stain on our society that the majority of teenagers would rather watch a film adaptation than pick up a book. If a novel has been turned into a film you should always read the novel first because it enchants your imagination more. Moreover, you should read the book first as the author imagined the plot the way they wrote it. Although watching the film can give you a new interpretation of the story, it can also ruin the way you imagined it. For example, when I read the Harry Potter series I thought Harry, Ron and Hermione looked much different than they do in the films. Now, after watching the movies, when I read the books I can only imagine Daniel Radcliff as Harry, Rupert Grint as Ron and Emma Watson as Hermione.

When you read a book, you can interpret the plot and the story to your liking. Books allow your mind to be creative. Furthermore, books are much more detailed than films. Usually a film lasts approximately two hours while in a book there can be hundreds (maybe thousands) of pages of description. Books also develop their characters much more and add multiple dimensions to them; such as detailing their emotions and thoughts. Books also improve your vocabulary. You may not notice it but while your reading a brilliant novel you are improving your spelling, punctuation and grammar. It is proven that people who read more get better jobs and therefore better pay. At King’s we have an impressive library where there is every book you can imagine. Subsequently, pupils can read for pleasure or study and hopefully secure better jobs in the near future. Books are always the start of great stories. You never watch a film and think that it should be turned into a book – most good films are based on books anyway!

*Figures based on classroom polls

On the other hand it could be argued that films are better than books. People may say that films have a more social aspect than books. You can go to the cinema with your friends and talk about the film together. You cannot read a book the same way and this could lead to disagreement. As well as this watching a film can help you interpret the storyline in a space of two hours, while it may take you a whole weekend to finish a book. Even though I believe that the depth of a book is a good factor, some people do not want to invest the time. The film industry does create more job opportunities and there are many different roles when creating a film, such as the producer, cast, makeup artists, director, script writer etc. With books, there are only a small amount of roles, such as the writer, editor, publisher, illustrator and marketing involved.

In conclusion, I think books are better than films. Books develop your imagination, are much more detailed than films, improve your English writing and are proven to help you get better jobs. Meanwhile films are socially better, quicker to watch and have more job opportunities. But can watching a film get you a better mark on your next English assessment? Can watching a film get you a better job? Can watching a film give you the same depth of the story, then reading a book? I would answer no to all these questions; you may answer yes to a couple. It’s your choice whether to watch a film or read a book. Though maybe think of this report before you choose, and remember; readers are leaders!

By Isabella Jones – ShMB