Does Watching A Film Spoil A Book?

I am just going to jump straight in there with my opinion on this – yes I think watching the film of a book before reading the book spoils it completely. Although I am slightly biased in that I study English Literature and Language at University so would prefer reading the book first then watch the film afterwards. I find it interesting when watching the film to see if what the director envisioned the book to be like is similar to my interpretation of it, and if not how it differs and why that might be. When you read a book, everything you imagine from descriptions of landscapes to character’s personalities is that of your own imagination. However the interpretation that will be presented to you from a film will most likely be what you think of when reading the book.

If you watch a film first it completely spoils what is about to happen for you. However it is personal preference, for example some people would rather watch a film for 2 hours than say spend 10 hours (depending on the book) reading a book, simply because it is perhaps more relaxing to them and in this busy world is a lot easier.

In some cases I think watching the film is helpful when reading a book. For instance in A Level the whole class read ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Bronte. This is now I would say my favourite book, but at the time I was so confused by the different Catherines, the names of the two houses and who lived in them at any given time, the fact that it is basically a story in a story then goes to present day and continues on. So watching the film whilst reading the book helped to aid my understanding of what was going on in the book!

However books are far more detailed than films and often in films the director tends to skip out bits that although probably were not crucial to the plot line but did add extra layers to the book making it more gripping and enthralling for the reader. A classic example for me is ‘P.S. I Love You’, by Cecelia Ahern. I fell in love with the book, reading it in a very short space of time because I could not put it down. So when purchasing the film I was excited to see it, but having watched it, yes it was a good film but I felt somewhat disappointed in the slight change of the plot because to me that was not staying entirely true to the book. Granted I know that for movies you have to give it the whole ‘Hollywood effect’ so more people will be likely to watch it but this is why you should read the book first. If you watched the film first then read the book you would expect the plot of the book to be similar, and it would perhaps confuse you or be an anti-climax if the plot changed. Another example is the second Princess Diaries film; they may as well have called it something entirely different! The book ( by Meg Cabot) was a completely different story line to the film. Both are very good but are very separate and to me it is perhaps wrong to associate a book with a film if they are nothing alike!

Do you think that watching a film first spoils a book? Do you think that you should read the book before a film to risk losing imagination? I would love to know your thoughts on this, so feel free to drop me a comment below.

Do We Share Too Much On Social Networking Sites?

Status updates tell people what we are up to, who we are with, accomplishments what we have done…but when does it get too much and at what point are you overloading people with personal information they necessarily do not want to know? This is a debate which I find interesting and is very relevant to modern day society. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter for some people are now used as personal diaries that they share with their friends. But are they really truly aware that when they write particular posts or upload certain photos that their 300 friends (or however many) are reading and seeing them too? For example imagine you post a photo of a friend drunk and doing something silly or embarrassing on your Facebook because it was funny at the time and let’s say that you have 300 friends… now imagine going into a room full of 300 people, chances are you probably would not stand in front of them and hold the picture up for all to see.  Whilst these social networking sights offer you to have your own say, own identity and is a great way to keep in contact there is perhaps a point when it becomes too personalised. Or is there?

My opinion is that it is specific to the person what they are comfortable sharing and what the purposes of having their social networking accounts are. If your purpose is to keep in contact with friends from around the globe and you use it to chat then I think that is fine, but using it to express your every emotion, where you are every day and what you are up to, then for me it becomes too personalised. This is an interesting debate and I would love to hear your opinion on the matter too!

A Book Review of ‘Safe Haven’ by Nicholas Sparks

Today I finished the book ‘Safe Haven’ by Nicholas Sparks. I have read novels by Sparks before and this one is somehow different. It is slightly darker as it deals with the issue of domestic abuse and death, however this is balanced with the finding of new love, overcoming tragic heartbreak, the importance of family and new beginnings that you never thought were possible. This book proves that there is a silver lining to every cloud. It gives readers hope that new beginnings are possible and that everything will work out in the end no matter how difficult it is in the beginning. The ‘Safe Haven’ in the novel could be Southport, the town Katie escapes to, or possibly it could be Alex and his family, however I think the true ‘Safe Haven’ Sparks is implying is love itself.

The plot itself kept me on edge right from start to finish with an unexpected twist at the end. In a nutshell it is about a courageous woman named Katie who has started a new life in Southport, North Carolina to escape her ‘secret past’. She works as a waitress at the restaurant, ‘Ivan’s’ and lives a simple life with only her neighbour Jo for company. However she meets Alex, who owns the main store in the town. Alex is widowed and is an excellent father to his two children. However we soon realise that brown-haired ‘Katie’ is really ‘Erin’ a blonde-haired woman married to Kevin who has abused her for four years. Alex and Katie (although both apprehensive about starting new relationships) fall in love with each other. The more Katie lets her guard down with Alex, the closer Kevin is to finding her. The end of the novel really is gripping and I could not put it down!

I find it amazing how Sparks can produce such believable and realistic characters. The way women in the novel talk to each other is as accurate as if a woman wrote it! To me, Nicholas Sparks is such a talented author and this is in my opinion one of his best novels yet. I really enjoyed this book and it was really interesting as it tackled issues I had never read about before. It is written in a style that flows easily making it effortless to read.

It is definitely a must read!

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Would You Want To Lock Your Love?

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‘Lovelocks’ are basically padlocks that couples write something on (be it their names/initials, a meaningful message or the date they got together) and lock it onto the bridges called Pont des Arts or Pont de l’Archevêché in Paris. Which bridge you put your padlock on is important, because the Pont des Arts is for committed love and the Pont de l’Archevêché is for lovers. After securing the lock the couple will together throw the key into the river Seine as a symbol of their everlasting love for each other. Legend has it that the only way to ‘break the love’ once the padlock has been attached is to find the key and unlock the padlock. This however would prove to be a task near enough impossible! So people tend to opt for an easier option instead and try to cut off their padlocks!

The locks are in my opinion beautiful, they are a work of art adding colour and beauty to the bridges as the padlocks come in all different shapes, sizes and colours. This is definitely a unique landmark and is now a growing trend throughout Europe. Some people however disagree with my opinion (although I am a hopeless romantic!) and think that this is just graffiti and they need to be saving the environment, preserving the landmarks etc etc etc and while this is very true, this will not stop people from expressing their love for each other in the romantic capital of the world! In May 2010 the Paris city council complained that with the growing number of locks being attached the conservation of the bridge would be difficult. So one night many of the love locks disappeared. But people began to replace the locks in no time, so for those people against it, I think they should let others enjoy expressing their love in a different way as they are fighting a never ending battle!

What fascinates me most about the lovelocks is that each padlock has its own individual story behind it. Whether it is a married couple who have been together 50 years celebrating their commitment, excited newlyweds on their honeymoon or even best friends who wanted something fun and spontaneous to do whilst visiting the city of love.

Whilst some people think this is vandalism, I think putting lovelocks on the bridges is a great thing as it celebrating love. Surely we should promote love around the world instead of the hate, war and upset that we hear on the news day in and day out. This trend will continue to grow, people come from far away countries to ‘lock their love’ and in the future I shall be one of them!

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If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover.

I have posed this question to many of my close friends and family and have received a range of responses, however most said they would decide not to read the book, I have to say that I agree with them. I think one of the best things in life is the element of expecting the unexpected and the rush you feel when you take a risk because you don’t know what the outcome will be.

I think whilst it would be good to read over what has happened in your life so far (as let’s be honest we don’t remember everything!) and relive the experiences of the best days in detail, or perhaps seeing how you overcame a difficult situation. Looking back and seeing how far you have come from that experience would be encouraging and make you feel happy. So if you could just read the book up to present day I would decide to read it, but you have to read it cover to cover, which means finishing it right up until the moment you die.

I would not want to see what my future holds for me in advance. I love that in life the decisions you make lead you down different paths and if the decisions have already been made then you will have to go down the path leading to that decision even if it is not necessarily the right one or the one you feel is right now at this moment in time. I know also it is morbid but I don’t really fancy seeing the way I am going to die (and I don’t know many that would to be honest!). If you read that something bad in your future was going to happen you would dread that specific day that it would happen on and because it is already written that must mean that it is going to happen regardless of what you try to do to stop it.

Whilst it would be great to read all the amazing things that are going to happen, which you would look forward to now you know. Reading the book would take away the element of surprise that it was going to happen. Also people tend to focus on bad news rather than the good, so you would probably dread the bad things more than look forward to the good.