I am a firm believer in reading the book before seeing the movie (unless I’m unaware that a story was a movie first) for, in my opinion, the book is always better. Yet there are several popular books that I’ve never read and/or seen its movie adaptation. It’s not because I don’t like these stories – you can’t dislike what you haven’t read/seen. I either was not interested at the time (either because of my age or where I was at in life), was going to read it but decided not to (because my TBR list was just too long), or I tried to read it but lost interest.
Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling (1997-2007, 2016)
I tried to read the first book but I probably shouldn’t have at the age I did. For me, it was too big and too much, so I thought maybe when I was a bit older I’d go back to the series. Then the movies began to come out. I still thought “Oh, I’ll see the movie and catch up on reading the books when I can. No worries.” But as more time passed I continued watching the movies without reading the books until I finally gave up. I was in too deep with the movies to go back.
Anyway, I love the movies. They blew my mind and I could just imagine how much more amazing the books must be. All my friends who’ve read Harry Potter tell me how there’s certain things missing from the movies (which is understandable when a book is adapted to a movie) but that the books are better (they still love the movies though). I think it’s likely I’ll read this series in the future when I have time.
Also, if I had a choice I’d want to be in Gryffindor and I’d want Maggie Smith to be my mentor (she’s so amazing and a great actress). And don’t get me started on Potter Puppet Pals (so so funny and adorable).
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (1862)
When I first heard about/seen the stage/movie adaption, I did not know it was originally a book. I’ve seen three different movie adaptations of it: the 2012 version, one was in black and white and spoken in French (don’t remember the year), and the other was in color but I don’t remember much else about it. All were equally interesting and enjoyable to watch.
It’s staged musical production was my first introduction to the story. It was late at night and I was flipping through channels and I saw what I thought was a commercial (not sure what you’d actually call it) but it was showing Les Misérables: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall (10th anniversary). I was thoroughly amazed by the singing and the story was so moving even though it was an all sung concert. I fell in love with it and soon got my hands on the soundtrack from that concert.
I would like to see this show in person someday. It’s such a sad but incredible story…I’m not sure if I could get through reading the book without falling to pieces. But it’d be worth the read someday.
The Lord of the Rings series (1954-1955) & The Hobbit (1937) by J. R. R. Tolkien
I knew about the movies before I knew they were books first. Most of my friends have seen (and I think read) them but I haven’t done either. I’m all for epic fantasy adventures but these just never really interested me. Although, I do enjoy watching The Hillywood Show‘s parodies of them, especially of The Hobbit.
The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins (2008-2010)
I actually had the first book on my TBR list way back when it was first published but I just never got around to reading it – too many books kept being added to my TBR list and taking precedence. I really wish I’d had time to read them but some things just don’t work out. I did enjoy each of the movies, the first and part two of the third book being my favorites. The Hunger Games is an awesome dystopian story and series. And, of course, I have to point out The Hillywood Show’s amazing parody of it.
Divergent series by Veronica Roth (2011-2013)
I heard about the books back when only the first book had been published. I debated for a while whether or not to read Divergent and ultimately decided not to. I just couldn’t see myself enjoying it and part of me didn’t really get what it was supposed to be about. Now that I’ve seen all the movies that have been released so far, I kind of wish I had. I think as a reader I am just personally not drawn to dystopian books or just haven’t found any ones to read that spark my interest – which is strange because I enjoyed watching their movie adaptations. Based on my impressions from seeing the movies, I don’t believe I’ll go back and read this series in the future.
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green (2012)
I discovered this book and it’s movie adaptation at the same time because everyone (who had read the book) was excited for the upcoming film. After the film came out I bought the book because I’d only heard good things about it both. But I haven’t read it yet and I think it’s because the hype kind of killed it for me. However, I do love John Green as a person – I think he’s smart, kind, and funny. I still would like to read this book before seeing the movie but I don’t know when that’ll happen.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fizgerald (1925)
A classic piece of literature often used in school English/Language Arts/Literature classes. I never had to read it in school. To be honest, most classic literature never really interested me growing up. I think it’s due to a mix of me having to study a book too intensely, being prone to getting lost in my imagination, or just loving all things fantastical more. I heard the 2013 movie adaptation was good but I didn’t go see it. I do find it interesting that the story isn’t told through the title-character’s perspective (from my understanding). But I don’t see myself reading this in the future.
So there’s my list, the honest truth. And again, I have no ill will towards any of these books. Perhaps one day I’ll read them and/or see their movie adaptations and there’s probably others I haven’t read that aren’t on this list. But for now I’ve got an extensive TBR list to get through.
What popular books have you not read or gotten a chance to read yet? What book(s) should I make a point of reading? Let me know in the comments below.