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Books vs Movies: Which is the better medium?

This is a question I've often seen people discuss. Overall, most people seem to agree that books are almost always better than movies, but I think there's a lot more to it than that and I can absolutely see movies as being better in some situations.


Books have a lot of benefit. For one, everyone creates their own image of the characters. Sure, you're set by certain guidelines like "he has brown hair or a scar here" but ultimately we all end up imagining our own version. Books engage our imaginations in a way movies never could.

Books can also convey information very simply. A lot of people learn better from books than they would from a movie. They can reread and fully understand certain points before moving on and can more easily review information thanks to the index and table of contents.

Of course, they're not without fault. For starters, they take longer than movies would (unless you're a speed reader). In the kid world, where you tend to have hours after school to do anything you want, reading is easy. Now though, finding the time to sit down and read can be a lot harder. Another negative side of books is that, unless you have an e-reader, they take up quite a bit of space. As such, they also take up more resources (paper, ink, etc) whereas a movie takes considerable less, especially if you watch on Netflix.


One of the best things about movies is that they're faster paced than books. You tend to jump faster from scene to scene because rather than having to pan over an entire room so people can understand what's there and where the main character is, you simply see it. Long, lengthy descriptions aren't needed because we're watching it all unfold in front of us.

Another great thing about movies is that you can pause and pick up without the need of a bookmark which, more than once for me, has slipped out and I had to find my place again. And, of course, you can snack and multitask a lot easier with a movie than you could with a book.

Movies have some bad points too, though. A lot of the times, movie adaptations of books take out a lot of important details and sometimes even entire plot points because there's simply not enough time to show everything. To make matters worse, directors might even ruin the movie entirely *cough cough* Avatar: The Last Airbender *cough cough*, which can certainly crush fans all around the globe.

When it comes down to choosing which is better, the truth is that neither is. Books can be lengthy, poorly written, or you might just have no time to read. Movies could be terrible and ruin one's experience entirely. Personally, I split my time between both reading and watching movies and actually look at reviews before I decide whether a movie or book is worth my time. What about you?