Top Ten Tuesday- Please Don't

This week's Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish asks us for ten books we'd like to see turned into a movie or TV show. My list is super short:

[crickets... in case you couldn't tell source]

No need to readjust your dial- there's nothing on it. I really, truly don't have any books that I'd like to be seen turned into a live-action production. 

First of all, let me just say that I'm not considering sub-par works, or even children's literature (take a deep breath Harry Potter fans) in my thought-process. In fact, my belief is that the shittier the book the better the movie. Anyway, when I look at what I read and what I love there's nothing I want to see potentially botched, as has happened time and time again (Cloud Atlas and The Great Gatsby just in the last year).

So what's the problem? There's multiple dimensions, one of which is myself. After reading a book and deciding it is in fact something I can put in the "like" pile, I become quite defensive on its behalf. The idea of someone coming in and reinterpreting it bothers me, as does the whole splicing and dicing aspect, which is often necessary for time constraints. 

I also prefer my rendering of what the novel "looks" like- I don't want a director or cinematographer to step in and try to tell me that the character looks this way, not that, or that the setting is ten times more picturesque than it really is. Part of the beauty of reading a book is the license it gives the reader to create images in his/her head- a movie or TV show can either tarnish what has been previously established or will influence future readers. 

I think another huge is issue is that so often movies miss the point in order to sell tickets and impress audiences. It becomes less about thematic components, hidden nuances, foreshadowing, or symbolism and more about two big name actors looking hot and hooking up. 

But the ultimate issue I personally have is that I really don't like watching movies and when I do it's for a much different purpose than the one I have when I read. For me, I prefer more light-hearted, whimsical, comedic movies, while when I read I tend to stick to the more literary, challenging texts (generally). My husband is a huge fan of the Criterion Collection, which I despise, given the fact that these art-house films are generally super serious, in black and white, or are foreign. I always say, thought, if there were a Criterion Collection of books I'd be all over them. Bottom line- I like to keep my watching and reading interests seperate.

Thoughts? Opinions? Comments? Concerns? 


  1. I don't mind books I like being made into movies. But books I love? No way. I'm still peeved about White Oleander being made into a movie and I don't even know how long ago that was anymore. I do watch Jane Eyre adaptations, but I'm super critical and just get annoyed. And want to see me go zero to pissed off in about 10 seconds, mention the Bag of Bones adaptation. I hope that Tell the Wolves I'm Home is never made into a movie.

    So I see what you mean. I should point out that I don't always mind things that are inspired by and/or tweaked - I'm thinking of BBC's Sherlock particularly.

  2. Ultimately I, like you, prefer that my favourite books not be adapted. However, if I they have to be (what ever happened to original films?) I prefer books being adapted into TV shows, as (not often, sadly) they tend to be truer to the books and don't cut things out. HP could have been a TV show, and it would have been a whole lot better, wouldn't have brought in the money though.

    I do love a lot of BBC adaptations, P&P, Persuasion, Jane Eyre etc... but that's about it, unless I see the film first I will prefer the book.

  3. I prefer reading to movies any day, and I also only watch movies when I need some lightening up. So I understand you 100%.
    The only reason I wouldn't outlaw book-to-movie conversions if I were in such a position, is because I've made peace with the fact that some people do really poorly with reading. I wish everyone would read but I'm over begging people to do so.
    So, the only way I could discuss for example The Hunger Games with my boyfriend was to make him watch the movie (which he said was predictable, then proceeded to read the book. Which was an interesting turn of events).

  4. My very favourite books I want left alone (hence The Art of Fielding being left off my list - it would be butchered). But sometimes I like what an director does with a movie eg. We Need To Talk About Kevin - the movie was purely a different interpretation of the book, which I appreciated for what it was. I felt the same about Gatsby - I love the love the book, I enjoyed the movie as almost a stand-alone thing.

  5. I think my subconscious left off some of my absolute favourites on purpose (The Shadow of the Wind for example) because I know that no movie could do it justice. Of course, I've been surprised at a lot of BBC adaptations of the classics and some book-to-movie adaptations (Atonement case in point; of course the book is still infinitely better but I was surprised at how close the movie was).

    I know what you mean though, ultimately these adaptations are interpretations one way or the other by directors and screenwriters and interpretations differ from person to person. Sometimes I like it (P&P comes to mind; I accept both 1995 and 2005 interpretations of Mr. Darcy), sometimes I don't (usually because the adaptation is so loose, they shouldn't have associated it to the book at all, or it's poorly done), I guess it depends on the movie and what I get out of it xD

    But in the end I do my best to read the book first before I see the movie so that I can formulate my own thoughts of the original source first ;)

  6. Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! Heather.vonstjames(at) Thanks!!

  7. You hit the nail on the head with movies and books having different objectives. Movies are about cinematography, costumes, punch lines, and a 120 minute story arch. Books are about depth, thoughts, emotions, which don't all play out well in movies. I like my movie to be a good movie and my book to be a good book, and they don't necessarily make good versions of each other.