This is a cozy time of year, and the constant chill in the air has us all running for our beds or couches with snuggies, warm drinks, and a good story. Whether that story comes from a book or a movie, there is nothing quite as cozy as being curled up in a character’s world.

Book-to-movie adaptations have taken the visual world by storm. With the success of such adaptations as the Harry Potter series, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and even re-interpretations of old classics like Little Women, the filmmakers of Hollywood are taking major inspiration from literature.

It must be said that adaptations can cause debate. The adage “the book is always better than the movie” has sparked contention with both avid readers and movie buffs alike.

While some films like Silence of the Lambs, Jaws, and To Kill a Mockingbird are said to have enhanced the original story, other films have practically scandalized the source material such as the recent box office disaster, Cats.

It isn’t easy to take a book and throw it on the big screen. Every reader experiences the story differently. Watching an adapted film or TV show is like viewing a story through a singular person’s (typically the director’s) perspective.

However, just like a reader gains insight through a group book discussion, readers can also gain insight from watching an adaptation. Readers can pick up on plot and character points in an entirely new way.

Subtle details missed in text might be acquired through noticing an adaptation’s score, costume design, or effects. Whether the adaptation actually lives up to the experience you had while reading isn’t as important as simply having an experience with the story. That’s really what we’re after.

The Derby Public Library hosts a series called Read and Watch where story-lovers can get a dose of both experiences. Participants are encouraged to read the selected book then join us for a viewing of the adaptation. A light lunch is served and a brief discussion usually follows.

Spring 2020 will include Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple with the film showing on Feb. 20 at noon, and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas with the film April 23 at noon.

So the next time you crack open a book or buy a movie ticket, I hope that no matter how it ends, you find yourself submersed in the story.



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