You might say I like books. I’ve read my fair share of them, and I even figured out how to make a living from writing them.
The weight and give of a paperback in my hands, telling me how much is left with no need of a read percentage.
I’ll take books in any form.
The moment they figure out a way to beam books directly into my cerebrum, I’ll do it.
I don’t care.
Upload them straight into my brain.
But when you talk to me of taking my beautiful words and converting them into moving images?
Without conscious thought, my fingers form the sign to ward off evil.
Bile creeps up my throat.
My temperature spikes.
A vein begins to throb rhythmically in the dead center of my forehead.
Okay, it’s not that bad. Movies and shows made from books are fine by me. I’m not actually here to wage war on a significant proportion of an entire medium.
Here’s what I am here to say:
The Book Is Always Better Than the Movie.
Two years ago, I began watching The Expanse at a friend’s house. We got three episodes in, then switched to something else.
I never watched the show again.
I mean, it seemed cool. It had all things I liked. Cool and competent characters, hard science, striking space settings, mysteries waiting to spool themselves out over multiple seasons.
But I just wasn’t motivated to figure out what service I had to subscribe to in order to keep watching. It’s Amazon Prime now, but I still don’t know what it was on back then.
Someone told me, but I forgot.
Fast forward to last week, when I bought the first book on a whim.
Those cool characters came to life, beaming into my cerebrum in full detail. They had pasts fraught with sins and mistakes, flaws to contend with in the present, and futures that were anything but certain.
And those settings!
They didn’t just take shape in my mind, every detail screaming in HD.
I also knew the why of those details. I gorged on paragraph after tasty paragraph of hard science explaining why things were the way they were – and those details breathed life into the world the awesome characters lived in.
I’m almost finished the book, and boy do I have to know what’s going on with the Phoebe bug. I need to know what happens to Holden and Miller, because they’re both complete badasses (okay, maybe Miller more than Holden), and because I have my doubts about both of them making it to the end.
Now, I’m clamoring for the show. Get me some Amazon Prime, because I’m not going to be satisfied with just one angle on this living, breathing solar system. I want it all. Every story you care to tell in this universe. Now. Faster.
And why would that be?
Because The Book Is Always Better Than the Movie (or Show), my friends.
Same goes Game for Thrones. I mean, I read the books first, and I have NO CLUE how people followed that show without doing the same.
Secretly, I don’t believe anyone who says they watched Game of Thrones before reading it as Song of Ice and Fire.
There is one exception to The Book Is Always Better Than the Movie.
And maybe Lord of the Rings.
-Scott Bartlett (free ebooks at scottplots.com)