The Read it First Rule

In our home there are not that many real ‘rules’. I won’t go as far as to say it is a free for all, but a lot of how we treat each other is based on mutual respect. Of course that doesn’t always happen but that is what we shoot for.

Our ‘rules’ are really actions that are strongly suggested. Usually when something is suggested there is a question asked. Like, why? As long as you answer with something other than ‘because I said so’ or ‘don’t ask me why, just do it’ the suggestion is usually taken. For example, I say, “I really would like for you to brush your teeth”.  She says, “Why?” Then I say something like “Brushing teeth prevents cavities from happening to your teeth. Do you know what a cavity is?” I am sure you get the picture of the conversation. By the end of the explanation of cavities and rotted out teeth and falsies she is usually pretty happy to brush her teeth.

We have a family rule that we read a book before we watch the movie that is created from the book. For example, The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe was read (in fact the whole series was read) before watching the movie. Why? Because I said so. Just kidding!

There seems to be an infinite amount of movies out there that were actually novels first. Adult and children’s books. I could give you a list but you would tire of reading it. We don’t usually consult the list before watching a movie. Mostly we use our common sense. There have been times that we watched a movie and later found out it was a book first. Rule breaker! We do try hard though.

Recently my daughters have been reading the Hunger Games series. When they finish I plan to watch the movies with them. (I already read the books years ago to my son.) Another series that is being read around here is the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. My oldest daughter is almost through with the third one, on audio, and my youngest daughter is just starting the first. She heard there were movies and was not going to let her sister see a movie without her! Ha, the motivators. Which is one of the reasons we insist on the book first. Movies are cool. They are exciting. Entertaining. So, without our little rule they may not have read the book first. They may have just skipped to the movie.


Other reasons for reading a book before a movie are:

We think it is better for the brain to form a picture of a story with imagination rather than someone else supplying that for you. If you are a reader you know what I mean. The way a story describes things. Like a countryside or how a person looks. I feel that is really good for your brain to create your own ‘movie’. It was pretty funny, we finished ‘Pride and Prejudice‘ a couple of weeks ago and bought the movie on Amazon. All three of us (my daughter’s and I) said that Mr. Wickham was much handsomer in the movie than we all imagined him to be.

We think that you get so much more of the story if you read it first. A movie cuts out so much. There is the risk that the movie will be disappointing because of your knowledge of the whole story. That is okay though. Remember, you have the real movie already in your head. Movies move really fast. Many times I have to use the rewind button because I am confused or missed something. If you have already read the book chances are you won’t feel as confused when you watch the movie. It is like you have some back ground information. It is like a really good trailer.


Another reason is the whole ‘Delay gratification’ lesson. Yes watching the movie is a whole lot quicker than reading the book. (For most of us anyway) There is such a better feeling for the climax to be reached slowly and with a build up. Right? Movies are so loud and dramatic. There are lots of special effects and sometimes scary moments but it really is nothing compared to being in suspense during a book and not being able to put the book down. That suspenseful feeling when you are reading a book lasts so much longer than when you are watching a movie.

‘Reading’ in my book, pardon the pun, includes listening to the story on audio or having someone read it to you. I absolutely love listening to a story just as much as actually reading it. It is the words that matter. I have to drive into town almost every day. Having a story to listen to really makes it so less painful.

Of course this is all opinion. My opinion. I feel reading is a valuable skill. Reading is a way to entertain yourself when technology is not available. Reading is good for your brain, body and soul.

Happy Reading!




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