Ok, so these are two reading challenges that I WISH WISH WISH I could participate in—but I can’t. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think you should.—Because you TOTALLY should!
Marcie from To Read or Not To Read is reading the Harry Potter series for the first time (Go Marcie!!!) and is inviting everyone to join her on Harry Potter Challenge 2011. As far as I know there aren’t any deadlines, but I would be soooo jealous if you did it!!!
Also Pure Imagination is hosting a month-long Potter-Thon Reading Challenge going on right now, through the end of January. Like I said, I’d be sooooooo jealous if you did this. I totally wish I was you!!!
So, why am I not participating? When I am the ultra-uber-super-Harry-Potter-geek that I am? When I fell in love with the first movie? When I INHALED the entire series in a week? When, even now, I am absolutely itching to grab those books, barricade my door, and fall in love all over again????
Because of a little quirk of mine. I seem to be one of the minority of people out there who like to watch the movie before reading the book.
Apparently most people would rather read the book, get their own images of the characters, places, whatever, etc…Rather than watch the movie and then picture the characters from the movie as they’re reading their books. I kinda get it. But I kinda don’t.
Because I’m the opposite. I’m a huge fan of both movies and books. And movies based on books. And even books based on movies. If I like something, I want to enjoy it in every available medium. But, I’ve noticed, generally (100%), I can’t let myself enjoy the movie after I’ve read the book. Because an author isn’t tied down to two (or three)(or four) hours. An author doesn’t have a time limit after which they need to stop so that people can go to the bathroom. An author can take exactly as many pages as they need to tell their story. An author’s power is limitless; they can show you one, or two, or every character’s perspectives, thoughts, and feelings. They can bring you inside the character. The author isn’t limited by today’s technology, CG, or 3D effects. Or an audience’s limited bladder control.
But despite the ever-growing and evolving technology and tools available to the movie industry, they have limits. Plus, even if you’ve got the book and the author sitting right in front of you, you’ve also got the director, the actors, the set designer, and everyone else INTERPRETING the book and the best way to bring it to an audience. Some interpretations can come very close. Some are so far apart you wonder why they even kept the same title. But no matter how close they can come, it’s never going to be physically possible to be the same. There will be some little (or big) details that might not make as much sense in the story, that there might not be as much time for. There will be some details that there is absolutely no reason that they couldn’t have added them in, that devoted fans would instantly recognize and appreciate, but for whatever reason, is left out. It happens. And then we all grumble. And we ask why. And sometimes we get answers. But mostly we don’t, and we grumble some more, because it was so important and it just doesn’t make sense why it was left out.
Anyway, the point is, that no matter how similar a book and movie are, there are always differences. And when I’ve read the books first, I don’t enjoy the movies, because all I see are the differences, the things that aren’t there, and weren’t included.
I’m not saying it doesn’t occasionally happen. Harry Potter, case in point. I LOVE the books AND the movies. I saw the first movie first, INHALED one through four, then went to see the second movie and actually kept a notebook with me, writing down all the differences I could spot.
Sure, that’s a kind of love in its way. It’s a stalker, obsessive love. But it isn’t the magical, wondrous, falling in love for the first time that I felt with the first book and movie. So, yeah, I’m definitely having my own Potter-Thon—but mine will be after the last movie. Where I can enjoy it for the first time, and then recapture it all over again with the books, diving in, experiences all the extra bonus magicness that is WOW that it couldn’t be contained outside the book. I can read the book and pick out all the little details that are like little Easter Eggs, that the author hid, just for me (and you).
So that’s MY plan. But like I said, that’s my little quirk. So if you’re a normal person join the read-a-thons, and get the chance to share this experience in a whole new way. Whether you’ve never read them (YOU SHOULD!!!!!) or you’ve read them a million times (each time is a different kind of magic)—I’m just saying, you should do it. I totally would.
I’m so jealous right now!!!