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“Why Would I Read the Book If I Can Just Watch the Movie?”

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

Ahh, the world of technological advancements have drastically changed mankind; whether for the better or for the worse, it’s no secret that much has changed. I have noticed greatly the negative effects of these technological advancements: the devaluing of literature. As someone who spent the majority of their youth trapped in between the pages of novels, it saddens me to see such a beautiful art form begin to lose its influence and value. 

Ever since middle school, when I got deep in my obsession with Harry Potter, I would continuously recommend the books to my fellow classmates. This is the first time that I had someone tell me, “Why would I read the book if I can just watch the movie?” It broke my little heart. While yes, the movies are great and I highly enjoy watching them, they aren’t the same. 

There are many reasons why I believe that reading the book should never be unconsidered just because there is a movie adaptation, one of them being a great loss of what I like to call magic. If we use Harry Potter as an example, there is a long list of beloved characters in the books that didn’t make the cut for the movies such as Charlie Weasley, Peeves, Professor Binns, etc. Removing these characters from the movies also removed their plot points, some of which were important to the overall story of Harry Potter. 

When thinking about art in this manner, one might ask where to draw the line when it comes to adaptations. Take the Percy Jackson series: to be very honest, these movies were awful (truly one of the worst adaptations I’ve seen), and although there has been tons of media discourse about why it failed so horribly, the one I think people should pay most attention to is given by Rick Riordan, the author of the series. 

In a Tweet, Riordan said, “I still have not seen the movies, and don’t plan on ever doing so. I judge them from having read the scripts because I care most about the story. I certainly have nothing against the very talented actors. Not their fault. I’m just sorry they got dragged into that mess.” Riordan has also stated that he had little to no creative control when it came to the movies, having to resort to pleading with the production company to listen to him when it came to things like removing important characters and deviating so far from the books. And as someone who dreams of becoming an author, it really upsets me to see this happen to someone who poured their heart and soul into their work. And despite all of this, there are still people who will say that they don’t want to read the book because there’s a movie they can watch instead. 

And yes, I do understand that reading is a time-consuming activity. You can’t really multitask while reading a book for fun–and trust me, I can no longer read at the pace that I once was able to–but I still try hard to make time for it. There are tons of benefits to reading, both mentally and physically, that multiple reputable studies have discovered. One major benefit is that reading helps prevent age-related cognitive decline. The National Institute of Aging recommends that people continue to read to keep their minds engaged as they grow older, which actively works to prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Another benefit is that it’s an amazing stress reliever, which is something that is definitely needed. A 2009 study by Mindlab International at the University of Sussex discovered that just by reading, stress levels can be reduced by 68%, making it more effective than taking a walk or listening to music. 

Original Illustration by Gina Escandon for Her Campus Media

While movies are an amazing tool for entertainment, fun and social engagement, there is no need to completely allow them to replace books. For me, reading a book and then watching its adaptation is such a joy. Being able to see the characters and stories I’ve fallen in love with come to life is a feeling I never want to lose. And while I believe that the world will never 100% lose literature, I hate seeing it become second to film, especially when those films wouldn’t exist without the novels in the first place. As technology becomes more and more vital to humanity, I’m scared to meet children that might not even know that Harry Potter was originally a book, or that Jurassic Park or Legally Blonde got their start as just words on a page. 

So the next time someone recommends you a book or you’re assigned one for class and you think about just watching the movie instead, think about all of the magic and health benefits that you are missing out on. I hope that one day literature will be appreciated as it once was, and not just seen as a chore, but as a way to connect with art and to learn through stories that authors have poured their lives into.

Adamari Ruelas

CU Boulder '26

Adamari Ruelas is a contributing writer for the Her Campus chapter at CU Boulder. Her job within Her Campus is to write at least two articles a month, one contributing to a theme week. Outside of Her Campus, Adamari is a first-generation college student who is currently a sophomore at the University of Colorado Boulder, majoring in English Creative Writing. During her spring semester of freshman year, Adamari studied abroad in London, wanting to learn about different cultures while also being able to study in a Literature-rich city. Adamari also interned at the Aurora Public Schools Communications Department during her senior year of High School, where she learned how to write articles, interview subjects, and create social media posts for the department under the guidance of multiple professionals. In her free time, Adamari enjoys reading and writing, at least when she isn’t hanging out with her friends or playing Overwatch with her little siblings. She is a very proud Mexican-American who loves sharing her culture as long as Mexican history with anyone who lends an ear. Adamari is also a massive nerd, especially with Harry Potter (she’s a Ravenclaw btw) and Marvel. In the future, Adamari hopes to become a published author, sharing her works with the world and hoping they help people the way books have helped her.