We've all been there: you're talking with friends about the movie you saw over the weekend or the Oscar nominations for Best Picture, and you start to gush about how much you love the book the film was based on. That is, until you're stopped dead in your tracks by one sentence — "I haven't read the book, I've only seen the movie." You're shocked, you're astounded, you're outraged—you know, the typical reactions any book-lover goes through when someone says they've only seen the movie.
Every year, dozens of film adaptations are released to the big screen, and audiences love it. From thrillers like Gone Girl to YA love stories like The Fault In Our Stars to this award season's biggest movies including Room, The Revenant, and The Martian, movies based on books continually garner both critical and commercial success. But how many people actually read the books before seeing the movie, or even bother reading the book at all?
For most book-lovers, the question is insulting. Of course we read the book before we see the movie, and we will probably read it again afterwards for comparison's sake. The movie is the cherry on the ice cream, but the book? Well, that's the entire sundae, whipped cream and all. How could you not take a bite?
The next time you go to the movies with your book nerd friend without reading the book first, don't be surprised if you get one of these nine reactions all book-lovers have when someone says they've only seen the movie.
1. "Wait, but how did you hear about the movie if you've never read the book?"
Like most avid readers, I find movie recommendations through the books I am reading, not the other way around. When someone says they didn't read the book, or didn't even know there was a book, I'm baffled. If you didn't read the book, how did you find out about the movie? You mean you haven't been anxiously awaiting this adaptation since you finished the book? That's weird...
2. "The book is SO MUCH BETTER!"
This one is obvious — the book is always, always better than the movie, and every book-lover will tell you that. You haven't read the book? We can tell you, you're seriously missing out.
3. *Blank Stare*
When you tell a book-lover you've never read the book, don't be surprised if they become speechless. They're just having a hard time comprehending what you said, because they're too overwhelmed with feelings of shock and disappointment.
4. "And you call yourself a true fan?"
When a new book series hits the big screen, especially a YA series, it is inevitable that there will be that group of people who show up to the midnight premiere because they're that big of a fan, but when they say they haven't read the book, all bets are off. Excuse me, but you don't know the first thing about Katniss Everdeen if you haven't read the books, but it's cute that you think so.
5. "Don't worry, I have a copy in my bag you can borrow."
Truth: If you tell a book-lover you haven't read something, they will forcefully give you the book and anxiously wait while you finish it so you can discuss. When you tell a book-lover you have only seen movie but haven't read the book yet, expect the reaction time to be even faster.
6. "You still need to read the book, it's totally worth it."
No matter how detailed the movie was, us book-lovers know for a fact there's so much more in the books to be enjoyed. When someone tells us they already saw the movie, so they "don't need to read the book," our response is swift and simple: yes, yes you do.
7. "OK, here's what the movie got completely wrong..."
We can't help it. Whenever someone says they saw the movie but haven't read the book, we can't wait to tell them about all of the ways the movie was different, and how all of those ways were totally wrong. Even if someone didn't read the book, they deserve to know the truth.
8. "What do you mean you didn't read the book? YOU ALWAYS READ THE BOOK!"
This is the most basic and common response.
9. "Maybe we should see other people..."
It's harsh, but true. The worst thing a book-lover can find out about someone they're dating is that they only watch the movie versions, and never read the books. The most common response to this is a swift kick to the curb. Come back to us when you've renewed your library card.
Images: Warner Bros; Giphy (9)