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Why The Books Will Always Be Better Than Their Movies

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

Please tell me, one more time, how the books are so much better than the movies. 

With the arrival of the new Fifty Shades of Grey movie, Fifty Shades Darker, people have come out of the wood work telling me to read the books because, apparently, they were so much better. I guess that may not be the best example, seeing as I haven’t actually read the books nor have I actually seen the movies. However, this has been a historic trend going as far back as Gone with the Wind, encompassing, the Twilight and Harry Potter series, The Fault in Our Stars, and ending with our most recent, Fifty Shades Darker.

It wasn’t until I was talking with my friend, notably an avid Fifty Shades fanatic, and she was passionately urging me to read the books before I went to see the movies, my interest in the theory was piqued.

Why is it that people always say the books are better than their subsequent movies?

The answer seemed apparent. When you read books, you get to use your own imagination to direct the movie in your head. So when you read the book and then go to see the movie, you are immediately disappointed no matter how well the director actually does with the franchise. You automatically think of it as inferior because the director’s version is different from the version in your head. 

I can’t imagine how hard condensing a few hundred pages into an hour and a half long movie would be, but I can guess it’s not easy. That’s why sometimes directors choose to cut scenes from movies that were beloved in the books, which, in turn, enrages the fans that were personally and entirely invested in the books.

Not to mention, books give you a more three dimensional explanation for why things happen, character’s actions and behind the scenes thoughts, which appear as lacking when translated on to the big screen.

Overall, there are a lot of reasons why you could argue the books are better than the movies, but when it comes down to it, it’s safe to assume everyone who reads the book before the movie will think the book is better. There is just no way the actual director can make a better movie than the director in your mind. 


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Jess is in her third year at UCF. She is an Advertising and Public Relations major who absolutely loves to write. Jess also tutors on campus at the Writing Center. When she is not writing, working or studying, you can find Jess at the pool, since she loves to swim and play water polo. Jess is super energetic and friendly, so if you see her on campus be sure to say hi! Go Knights!
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