Photo by Jorunn Lorenzen
I have a three-part theory about getting the most enjoyment out of a book that has been made into a movie.
The most agreed upon piece of information here is that, if you read a book and then see its movie, you are going to be disappointed in the majority of cases.
If you are reading a book that has been or you know is being made into a movie, STOP READING. Stop reading right now and put that book somewhere where you won’t be tempted to pick it up until you have seen the movie. If you have already read it, you are doomed and I cannot help you, sorry. I kid, but it can be a good way of testing this theory. By starting with the opposite of my recommendation, and then finding another book made into a movie, you can follow my recipe to compare; this is the only way I can see that you can benefit now.
First you need to watch the movie. Enjoy the unknown story for what it is. Don’t let any book covers, reviews or the like sway you into any expectations for this story. This is really a piece of advice for anything in life.
‘Enjoy it for what it is, without expectations, and you cannot be disappointed by unfulfilled expectations.’
Even Dharma meditation focuses on this simple piece of advice provided as meditation guidance: it is as it is, not as you expect it to be.
Once you have watched the movie and enjoyed it, you may read the book. Reading a book after you have watched its movie provides you with an extra level of depth to the characters and story that delivers further enjoyment, eliminating, in most cases, any disappointment with any slightly different storyline that might have been presented in the movie.
Now you have the extra context to the characters and story, so you can go back and watch the film again. This will allow you to enjoy the movie even more. Since you have already seen it, you will not be so focused on what was left out of the book. Now you can think more about the extra ideas and backstories the book provided you with, adding yet another level of enjoyment to the screen adaptation of the story.
By following this plan, you have will gain three levels of enjoyment, rather than just one, from a book. This will also help you to avoid a serious case of depression when a movie makes no sense. Before, your full knowledge of the story might have left you cursing the screen and fleeing the theatre, shaking your fist violently at the screen in protest of these changes – this will be a thing of the past.
So now, enjoy, my friends. Enjoy the book as movie in a three-fold way and always look for opportunities to turn your everyday annoyances into occasions of enjoyment.