Can Film Adaptations Replace Books for Students?

Reading books has always been a great way to expand our knowledge and understanding of various subjects. In recent years, however, film adaptations have become increasingly popular. Are they the new face of literature?

Over the past decade, Hollywood has produced memorable films that have redefined the genre. From Gone Girl to The Fault in Our Stars, these movies have had a profound impact on readers around the globe. Now, filmmakers are taking their skills to another medium – book publishing. 

Filmmakers are now adapting classic novels into blockbuster blockbusters such as Harry Potter and Twilight. Students are now making use of these adaptational movies in their research papers. Could this trend replace reading books altogether? Let’s examine the pros and cons of movie adaptations versus literary classics.

Can Film Adaptations Replace Books for Students?

Most of the time, movies differ significantly from the books they adapt. Therefore, it is not sufficient for students to watch a movie adaptation of a literary work in most circumstances. The Great Gatsby is a free essay example of a cinematic adaptation of this type. Even though many students have watched this movie, a lot of essays on “The Great Gatsby” for students highlight the significant discrepancies between the movie and the book. Reading books has always been a great way to improve your knowledge, especially if you’re studying a subject or profession where information is scarce. 

However, students nowadays only seem to read a little at school now. They prefer watching films instead. Should they stop reading books altogether? 

According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 38% of high school students reported reading a book during 2018. This number had dropped since 2013, when it was 44%. The same study found that only 25% of college students had read a book throughout 2017. 

So why aren’t kids reading anymore? Some experts believe that the rise of social media and video games has taken away their attention from reading. Others say that the lack of quality and diversity in children’s literature (mostly written by white men) plays a role too. In other words, some educators argue that books should be replaced with film adaptations because they provide better learning opportunities.

Pros of Movie Adaptation

Why are movies better than books? Let’s see

  •       Seeing the book’s characters brought to life on screen is one of the big advantages of a film adaptation.
  •       Movie adaptation appeal to the wider audience
  •       The filmmakers’ ability to take certain artistic liberties and add their touches to a book’s adaptation on film can also result in a new way of looking at the story.

Cons of Movie Adaptation

Why books are better than movies. 

  •       Compared to a fast-paced film, books tend to be more descriptive, making it easier for readers to empathize with the protagonist’s feelings.

Do film adaptations ruin the books for students?

black student in her accomodation

Seeing a cinematic adaptation of a book before reading it ruins the experience for the reader. While reading a book allows you to form your unique mental image of each character and scene, movies often force you to rely on the actors and the storyline to form your impression of them. 

When one has already watched the film adaptation, reading the book can feel tedious and drawn out compared to seeing the movie for only three hours. And in the case of suspense thrillers and mystery books, in particular, the films prove to be a full giveaway; the process of reading the book becomes less fascinating with the reader already knowing the finish.

Successful Adaptation Movies

The Silence Of The Lambs (Thomas Harris)

The Silence of the Lambs received the Big Five awards at the Academy Awards, including best film, best director, best actor, and best original screenplay, therefore, it goes without saying that it is a fantastic film. At the same time, it’s a tremendously empathetic revision of Harris’s original book. Harris’s book deftly and tightly deals with some truly horrific topics.

To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

If Robert Mulligan’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s seminal book is about compassion and tolerance in the face of hatred and violence, then it is exactly on target. The heroic Atticus Finch, played by Gregory Peck, is perfectly cast, and Scout and Jem, the book’s two main heroes, do just as well. An outstanding adaptation of a great book.

Unsuccessful Movie Adaptation

The Hobbit

Although The Hobbit had a relatively decent critical response to its opening chapter, to suggest that it diverged from J.R.R Tolkien’s fantasy classic would be an understatement. The novel is a fantastic combination of action and exposition, allowing for a tale that, despite its clunkiness, is highly enjoyable. 

The 310-page book was turned into a three-part movie series by Warner Brothers, which added unnecessary complications to the story. Many lifelong readers who hold Tolkien’s work dear were put off by these decisions and have never fully recovered from their disappointment.


Reading books has always been a favorite pastime for children and adults alike. The problem is, reading books takes time and effort. Many teachers believe that the best way to teach kids is through films. As a result, many educational institutions (such as schools) have shifted their focus from teaching children through books to movies for middle school. 

However, some argue that movie adaptations are inferior to book adaptations because they lack depth and context. They also don’t allow readers to experience the story from multiple perspectives. For these reasons, many educators prefer to rely on books over movies.

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