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Are Movies Better Than Books?

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We love movies. We love them so much we line up to pay high prices for movies that aren’t very good. Movies with above average entertainment make headlines for revenue generation. When seeking an answer to a question, one can often find the truth by following the money which in this case implies movies are better than books considering the great deal of money spent on them.

Of course popularity does not often equal quality. Yes, I know; a blasphemous statement in the eyes of the Hollywood elite. To be fair there have been a few high quality movies that were hugely popular. Perhaps you are recalling some of those titles right now. But what about great books? Not those “classics of literature” you were forced to report on in school. The great books today that fly off the shelves or strain bandwidth from downloads. If you are watching the movie and skipping the book, what are you missing?

It’s a favorite argument among book readers; was the movie better than the book? More often than not the most credit readers will give is; “was the movie equal to the book?”

If your idea of reading goes no further than a cereal box or tag line on a television sitcom, perhaps this is not a subject that interests you. If you are an avid reader like me then likely you are already formulating opinions about past books that became movies.

Movies can capture our imaginations, especially if they have great acting and even better directors. Can anything replace our own vast imagination? Certainly not. But books do a great job of letting our imagination wander as we interpret what the author is trying to impart to us. The really great books do something that no other form of entertainment can accomplish; allow us to lose ourselves for hours in a form of pure escape from reality. Perhaps a great movie provides the same for some, but surely not for the length and depth that a great novel can accomplish.

Hollywood has tried, and will continue to do their very best to capture the emotions of a great story. But their task in my opinion is as near to impossible as attaining life on Mars in the next decade. It is often said that imitation is the best form of flattery. Hollywood puts forth immense resources to imitate the entertainment which a book brings. That is perhaps evidence enough how much better a great book is compared to even the best movie.

By Gerald Caldwell

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