What to do first: Read the Book or Watch the movie?

For a bookworm like me, on screen adaptations of books are always a tricky thing. They can be great if done right or the worst thing ever to happen to a book if not. But that’s not the only tricky part about book adaptations. For me, it’s whether to watch the movie before or after reading the book that sends me into a spiral of confusion. In this post, I am having a look at pros and cons of both and hoping to dispel some of the the confusion.

Case A: Reading the book first


  • You can read the book without the actors in the movie influencing how I imagine and picturise the characters to look like. Like, you can’t read Harry Potter without picturing Daniel Radcliff in the role.
  • The book is not spoiled for you! Which is super important to a lot of people including me. You can read about how I feel about spoilers here.


  • You lose interest in watching the movie. This happened with me for Hunger Games. I’d read all the parts and knew who all were going to die. It took me much longer to complete the movie than it did to read the book.
  • Even if you do watch the movie, you can’t do so in peace because you are constantly comparing it to the book.

“They completely skipped such an important part of!”

“That is SO not what he’s supposed to look like.”

“That’s not how it happened in the books.”

Sounds familiar?

Case B: Watching the movie first


  • You don’t lose interest in reading the book after you’ve seen the movie. Or at least, that’s the case with me. I watched the Harry Potter series first and even the first Percy Jackson movie and the interest in the story they generated is what made me pick up the books.
  • Whenever I’ve watched the movie first, I’ve appreciated both the books much more than I’d have otherwise for exploring the plot and subplots in detail.
  • There’s not as much comparison between the book and it’s adaptation.
  • Cons-
  • You can’t imagine the characters any other way than that shown in the movies. Not just the characters, the setting, background, and the sometimes the minute details (such as Ravenclaw’s diadem) as well.
  • The story is spoiled. There is no way about it, really.

So if I had to choose one, I couldn’t. I think it sort of differs for every book and that in some cases, watching the movie first is better and in others, reading the book.
What’s your take on this topic? Do share in the comments!


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5 thoughts on “What to do first: Read the Book or Watch the movie?

  1. For the blog, I usually read the book before watching the movie, but there have been a few times that I saw the movie beforehand because I didn’t know the movie was based on a book. There have been so many times that I have been upset at a movie for messing up a key plot in the book. Every time I have read the book (especially when I really liked it), I have HATED the movie. That’s part of what makes my blog fun for me. I love ranting about all the aspects from the book that the movie got wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

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