Off the Shelf Library News - August 2017

We’ve all heard the expression “the book is better”. The most avid and loyal reader will tell you that a book’s film or television adaptation usually pales in comparison to the literary version. Despite this popular sentiment, we can’t deny that there are many excellent cinematic adaptions of great novels that have hit the screen. If successful, a true adaption will help expand the reader’s experience by enhancing the storyline and bringing the book to life. When done well, the breathtaking visuals and accurate character representations in film give new meaning to an already outstanding story (Game of Thrones, anyone?).

But there is one question that remains unanswered – if turning books into films or television shows is such a hit, then why aren’t awesome movies or TV series turned into even better books? There have been a few attempts at converting the cinematic into the literary, but most have failed to achieve greatness (remember the horror known as E.T. the Extra Terrestrial in His Adventures on Earth?). Why is turning good movies (or series) into good books such a difficult thing to do?

No doubt you’ve seen more than a few films or shows that made you think “this would be an epic novel!”. If you’ve ever watched Split, you know exactly what I mean. Yet the lack of motion pictures turned into written works makes us wonder why this idea hasn’t taken off. Surely there’s demand for such a thing, given the billion-dollar industry that Hollywood has created by transforming books into cinematic adventures? Or perhaps the challenge is too great – how do you capture in words what’s already been visualized onscreen? It may be that this feat is too great to accomplish. Even so, we still secretly wish that acclaimed sci-fi author, Philip K. Dick, was around to pen the literary version of Inception.

Whether you’re a fan of books, movies, or both combined, the SD&G County Library has an extensive collection of books and DVDs to keep you entertained and on the edge of your seat. For a closer look at our complete collection, visit or speak to any Library staff.