January 07, 2017

Telling a Good Story



Seen a great movie lately?  Likely, that movie was based on a book.  Books and movies are both terrific formats for telling a good story. However, even the best books have their content cut and modified when their story is turned into a movie.  Producers and directors try to capture and convey the story’s essence, but inevitably important details and nuances end up on the production room cutting floor as Hollywood takes creative liberties and attempts to work within a budget. A book, on the other hand, delivers what a movie cannot, the full story as it was originally written, coming to life as only you can imagine it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love movies.  Seeing an author or playwright’s words brought to life on the big screen in a big way is very entertaining and can also be quite meaningful.  Throw in a spectacular musical score and I’m hooked.  Movies can be time saving.  Watching a story in 90 minutes instead of reading or listening to it over the course of three weeks definitely has its appeal when time is short.  Still, after all these years, I have yet to see a movie that has ever met or exceeded my reading experience of the same title.  All too often, when the lights come back on, I’m the curmudgeon muttering, “the book was better”.

Why is that?  Reading or listening to a book encourages imagination and creative thought.  Unfettered by Hollywood, we are free to create our own movie in our own mind, without concern for budgets and other practical limitations.  As the tale unfolds, our own life story colors and shapes how we interpret and breathe life into the author’s words.  Because of this, no two readers will have the same literary journey with the same title.  That’s the magic of imagination and individuality.  Movies, on the other hand, show us someone else’s imagination and creativity.  One format is not better than the other, just different. Movies and books can be natural companions.  Two halves of a whole experience, each complimenting the other.

Neill Public Library has plenty of books and movie adaptations of many of the stories made popular in 2016.  For example, if you’re feeling romantic, try Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.  If a serious coming of age story is more to your liking, try Indignation by Phillip Roth.  Younger audiences may enjoy the timeless tales of The BFG by Roald Dahl, and The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.  Book first, movie second?  Or vice versa?  The choice is yours as the library has both.  Have fun!

Visit us at Neill Public Library to find these book and movie pairings and more.  Now you can visit more often as the eleven open hours lost during the Great Recession have been restored.   The library is now open Monday – Thursday, 9 am to 7pm; and Friday – Saturday, 12pm to 6pm.  This schedule adds five morning, two afternoon, and four evening hours while providing an easier schedule for everyone to remember. 

We have many wonderful stories waiting to be discovered.  And with the newly restored hours, getting your hands on these just got a whole lot easier. 



Joanna Bailey, Director
Neill Public Library


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