Jo Talks Books: On Having Different Tastes In Books and Movies

Hi all! It’s a little later than I would have liked for my first discussion post of April, but I’ve been busy the last few weeks, finishing up my last few assignment for Uni (finally done, just exams to go now) so I haven’t had as much time to write as I would have liked. For my first discussion post of this month, I’m going to be talking about having different tastes in books and movies. It’s something I’ve talked about with my friends before and they think I’m really strange, because my book tastes and movie tastes completely contradict each other, so I figured it might make a fun topic to talk about on here.

So those of you who have followed my blog for a while are probably pretty familiar with the types of books I read; largely YA fantasy with as little emphasis on romance as humanly possible, strong female led stories, the occasional historical novel and if I do read a novel in a contemporary, realistic setting, more often than not, it’s either a psychological thriller or something that focuses on tough issues, I’m not really one for the fluffy contemporary romance. You would think that these tastes would translate to the movies I watch. You would be wrong.

Despite trying to avoid romance as much as humanly possible in my books (though don’t get me wrong, I still have my ships and am as much of sucker for a shippable romance as anyone, I just don’t think it’s necessary to have romance in every single YA book of ever), a lot of my favourite movies are rom-coms. I genuinely don’t know why, in theory, I should hate them, I mean they’re incredibly cheesy, totally concentrated on romance and there’s not a whiff of magic in sight. If that was a book, it wouldn’t even make it off the shelf at a bookstore with me. Yet for reasons unknown (trust me, I would tell you if I had figured out why I’m such a strange bundle of contradictions), I love those things in movies. I suppose they give my romantic side a way to let off steam, since I like to refer to myself as a cynical romantic-basically I like the idea of romance but am way too much of a cynic/realist to believe that it will happen in my life (at least not the same way it does in the movies!). Rom-coms are really good for both the cynic and the romantic in me, because they allow me to indulge in my romantic fantasies whilst also rolling my eyes at the cheesiness of it all and knowing that things don’t really happen that way. Hand me a rom-com book though and I’d be more likely that not to throw it at a window. I think because I’m not the most visual reader, romantic books tend to only hit the cynic, as I’m just reading the cheese, without the visuals of the actions to accompany it, so instead of thinking “that’s unrealistic, but I don’t care, it’s so darn cute”, I’m just thinking “BARF”. Also you can actually see the cute guys in movies so you know…..that does help!

Take my favourite movie for instance (Moulin Rouge in case anyone didn’t know). That kind of story in a book would elicit massive eyerolls, barf noises and potentially me throwing the book across the room in frustration, if the book even made it into the house in the first place (which it probably wouldn’t have). I mean if you removed all the music, Moulin Rouge is essentially a star crossed lovers story, with a love triangle at the centre. Not exactly something that screams Jo. But I love it. Yes, the music is a big part of that, but also the stunning visuals (and no, I’m not just talking about Ewan McGregor here), the costumes, the story, the acting, everything. Something like that in the form of a book would just come across as cheesy to me, but when I can see (and hear) everything, on the screen, it captivates me. Again it all comes down the visuals (and audio here!), when I can see and listen to the relationship I am meant to be rooting for develop, then I find it a lot easier to let the inner romantic out! Plus I am a huge sucker for things that hit me in the feels (which is also true for books) and Moulin Rouge definitely does that.

Obviously when it comes to books I tend to go for the more fantastical, but most of the movies I watch are set in our world, although I don’t think this is because I prefer realistic movies (I mean The Lion King is one of my favourite movies and that has singing lions, so clearly not massive on the realism!), I think it’s just there’s more to choose from and if I could find more fantasy movies that I wanted to watch, I definitely would because the ones I have watched I have loved.

There are times when I have liked movie adaptations of books better than the books they are based on, usually because that kind of story works better for me in that format, or I like the story but I don’t like the format of the book. For example movies like The Princess Diaires & PS I Love You, I liked the movies better than the books because those kind of stories work better for me in film format. Perks of Being A Wallflower, I preferred the film to the book because I liked the story, but I didn’t like the epistolary format of the book. I have also been known to watch the movie/TV version of a book, with no intention of ever reading the book because I know it won’t work for me in that format. For instance, I watch the TV series Outlander, but I will never read the books because I know that level of romance will bother me in a novel in a way that it doesn’t onscreen.

Having said that, there are some similarities between the books I like and the movies I like. I love historical movies and TV shows, just like I love historical fiction, although I do have the tendency to rip them apart a little bit more over historical inaccuracies than I do books. I think historical fiction authors are a little bit more pedantic over the details of history than the people who work on historical movies, which I of course love, being a History student. RESEARCH IS KEY FOLKS. I don’t watch them often, but I do enjoy crime/psychological thriller movies as well as books. I’m not keen on horror movies, the same way I’m not keen on horror books, in both mediums, I prefer more of an eerie, creepy vibe (I’m actually slightly worried if they ever do get the Unwind movie off the ground, I won’t like it as much as the book because I fear they might be too graphic, and as we’ve already established, I’m not the most visual reader, so seeing all the creepy stuff I might not have pictured fully in my head in stark detail on the screen might be a little much). I do still also really love female led films as much as I love female lead books, I love films that have a strong focus on friendship (especially female friendship), and I love films that hit me in the feels, although I do love films that make me feel happy and laugh as well.

So yeah, when it comes to books and movies, I’m a bit of a bag of contradictions, but I think it mostly just comes down to the fact that they are different mediums, and what works for me in one won’t necessarily work in the other. I tend to find it’s a good thing though, as I’ll watch films that I never would have even thought of reading the book versions and I’ll still really enjoy the story, I’ll just take it in in a different way!

How about you? Do you have massively different tastes in books and movies? Are there any movies that you’d watch but you wouldn’t read their book countepart? Let me know in the comments!

I am about to dive into exam hell, so I will likely be dipping in and out of the blog in the next couple of weeks (mostly out), which means I don’t know when I’ll have another discussion post for you. Hopefully after my exam is over on the 27th, I’m planning on talking Bookshelf Organization. In the meantime however, I will have a new Top Ten Tuesday for you guys tomorrow!


9 thoughts on “Jo Talks Books: On Having Different Tastes In Books and Movies

  1. Never Not Reading 17/04/2018 / 10:56 am

    Great topic! I’m with you, I love Rom-Coms, but can’t be bothered with a similar book. Boring, and (let’s be honest) not usually written very well…

    I’ve actually written 2 reviews recently where this very topic came up. A lot of times there’s a cool book and I just didn’t like it that much, but think it would make an awesome movie. British humor, for example, doesn’t often work for me in books, but I ADORE it in movies. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the best example. Book was a snooze, movie is an all-time favorite. A lot of more fast-paced books are that way for me too. It’s not my favorite thing to read, but I eat that crap up in movies! Think DaVinci Code.

    • iloveheartlandx 17/04/2018 / 2:30 pm

      Thank you! Yeah I tend to feel the same way about romance books. Oh that’s really interesting-I actually love British humour in both books and movies, but then I am British, so that’s probably why. I’m actually the opposite way to you when it comes to that, I love fast paced books, but action movies? Not really my thing!

  2. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer 18/04/2018 / 3:49 am

    I agree! Having contradictory movie and book tastes is the same for me… except I love action and mystery and thriller movies but love romance and fantasy and really anything that is different from me in a book form. The different formats seem to dictate a different type of story. ❤️

    • iloveheartlandx 18/04/2018 / 10:02 am

      Glad to hear I’m not alone! Yes, definitely, some stories just work better with a film format than a book format.

  3. Louise 18/04/2018 / 12:06 pm

    I’m not so sure about movies, but I definetly have deferent tv and book tastes. On tv I love daft police proceedurals (Law and Order etc) and character pieces (like The Sopranos etc) but both those things bore me to tears in books XD

    • iloveheartlandx 19/04/2018 / 11:01 am

      It’s the same kind of thing really-I also have different tastes in TV and books as well as movies, in both cases, the format is different and so you enjoy different things.

  4. Anne-Marie B 19/04/2018 / 2:49 pm

    Hm… for the most part, I think I have very similar tastes (crime drama, contemporary fiction & romance)… I love action movies, but I think that in a book, THAT much action would probably turn me off. I probably prefer watching rom-com movies/tv shows to reading those books. Ex: I do love the Shopaholic series, but I have to take breaks from reading them, or they get on my nerves, whereas I could do a marathon of similar movies. 🙂

    • iloveheartlandx 21/04/2018 / 11:26 am

      Fair enough! Ah see I’m the opposite, I like action scenes in books but when I’m watching a movie of non-stop action, I get a little bored. I definitely feel you on that-but then I don’t like romance books to begin with!

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