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Which do you like better, the book or the movie?

I’ve figured out for me, it is usually the one I am exposed to first.  I cannot watch the movie as a movie without comparing it to the book.  The first Lord of the Rings, I read the book first and was upset the movie left things out, never mind how long the movie was.  The second and third movies I saw before the books and complained that the books dragged.

Sometimes, I can enjoy both.  The seventh Harry Potter movie (both parts) I enjoyed more than any other movie because on previous movies, I had read (or reread) the books recently and could not help but gripe about how the movies blundered things.  For example, the devil’s snare, why would you need the relax part of the movie, what did it add?  I purposely did not reread the seventh book before watching the movie and enjoyed it much more than any of the other movies.  My mom on the other hand, had finished the book days before watching the seventh movie and launched into a diatribe about the inaccuracies. (So as you can see I come by it genetically.)

Other times, it does not matter how long it has been.  Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine is one of my favorite books and I liked Anne Hathaway.  How could they possibly make a bad movie combining the two?  Well they did.  It was horrible!  Even though it has been years since I’d read Ella Enchanted, I picked up the book again to make sure I was justified in my indignation and I was right, the movie was no comparison.  I realize comparing a movie to a book I hold in such high regards is probably not fair to the movie, but too bad.  I had high expectations that were not met.

I’m now afraid to read The Princess Bride because I liked the movie.  I used to watch it on repeat, same issue with Stardust because I’ve been told the story lines are completely different.

What about you?  Are you able to enjoy both mediums separately or do you end up comparing them and liking one ore than the other?  Were there books or movies that did not hold up to your standards after being exposed to the story in the other format?