I joined the movement. After months of avoidance and indecision, I gave into the pressure. That is right; I am now part of the cult-following of The Hunger Games. Like many of you, I plan on seeing the upcoming movie during opening weekend, if not on premiere night. However, there is one factor which will split those present into two distinct categories; those who have read the book, and those who have not.
I was raised in a book loving household. My father has shelves upon shelves of books in our basement, as does my brother. My personal bookshelf has two rows of books on each shelf. At a young age, the value of reading a book before watching the movie based on it was instilled in me. When I was about 9 years old, my father began reading The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R Tolkien to me. The rule was, in order to see the movies, I had to read (or in this case have read to me) the books. It took almost 3 years to finish the books, but I persevered and made it through. As many of you will be going to see The Hunger Games in a few weeks, I want to beseech you to read the book first.
There are several reasons for this, but I will only highlight the top 3:
1. It makes the movie more enjoyable to watch.
Having the background knowledge provided by reading the book will help movie-goers understand the plot better, and have an idea of what is going on prior to the start of the film. Along these lines, only through reading the book first can you see how well your imagination of what things might have looked like matches up with how the filmmakers presented things. If you wait and read the book after having seen the movie, you have robbed yourself (at least in my opinion) of one of the best parts of seeing a movie based on a book. Additionally, being able to compare to book and the movie can be fascinating and intriguing. While watching the movie, one can recall events from the book and see how much, if at all, the screenwriters and the director varied from the original.
2. It makes it more enjoyable for those watching the movie with you.
There is nothing I hate more than constantly being interrupted while watching a movie by the person next to me asking “now what just happened” or “what is his name again?” Perhaps this is harsh, but let’s be honest, it is annoying. Avoid being this person and read the book first. Then you will have a better grasp on the plot and won’t have to worry about being “that girl.”
3. It is a good habit
We are students at one of the most prestigious universities in the country. Lehigh is not an easy school to get into, each and every one of us worked hard to get here. As future leaders for society, I believe we owe it to ourselves to READ the books first. I like watching television and movies as much as the next person, perhaps even more than the next person, but what does it say about us as people, as women, if we would rather watch the movie than invest and read the book?
Now some of you probably just read my last point and are wondering if I am crazy, after all, it is just a book written mostly toward an audience of young adult females. I realize the Hunger Games is that book, but this goes beyond this specific book, to a commentary of society as a whole.
On March 23rd at midnight, The Hunger Games premieres. Over the next couple days and weeks we will purchase our tickets for seats at Rave Cinemas for this event. I hope that you take the time between now and then to read the book, I promise you will not regret it.