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Don’t worry about reading the book first

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I first read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott when I was 10 years old. However, due to being so young and the language it used, I really struggled to read it. It also didn’t help that the book had been spoiled for me by an episode of Friends (if you’re a fan you know the one). Even though the edition I own is a beautiful one, first published in the 70s, I never had much motivation to read the book. As I got older, I started to read more classics, such as The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, and Anne of Green Gables. Many of these books have many different TV and film adaptations to appeal to a larger audience, and it’s a lot easier to watch a 90 minute film than read a book that can take a few days to finish, depending on the length.

 

Sometimes movie adaptations can add a new viewpoint from the book; for example, Greta Gerwig’s 2019 adaptation of Little Women includes Jo’s pursuit to publish her book, which was inspired by Louisa May Alcott’s own experiences and struggles that she detailed in her diaries – this addition adds a new depth to the story and the movie itself. Another example is the Netflix adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, a book first published in 1908 and set in the late 19th century, of which the TV series adaptation, Anne with an E, chooses to discuss issues that would barely be mentioned in the period setting, such as feminism and racism.

 

There are many times where I find out a movie that I loved was originally based on a book, which then encourages me to read the book as well. While there are some examples of movie adaptations that are worse than or too different from the book (for me the one that pops to mind is Percy Jackson, but for you it may be another), many adaptations are well done or are just much easier to love than the books themselves. So next time if you see a movie coming out that is based on a book, don’t worry much about reading it first and enjoy watching a good film.

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About Author

Niamh O'Connell

Books Editor | 19-20

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