Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Fan Loyalty

When a book is adapted into a film, a divide is formed between fans. Those who read the book first, and those who saw the film first. The divide splits a group of people, a community of sorts who all share a common interest in the story being told - whether it be by the screen or the pages of a book and a quiet rivalry is formed.

It sounds rather silly to say, but it's true. As I write this it is the opening weekend in the UK of The Fault in Our Stars in cinemas. (This has been in my drafts for quite some time) Today I went to see the film and loved it. One thing I did notice though, was the divide between those who had read the book and those who hadn't. 

First, the readers: Prepared. Tissues stuffed in pockets and lively chatter about scenes they were looking forward to prior to the film.
Then, the watchers: Excited. Laughing at the parts to laugh at. Sobbing at the sadder moments. They were climbing over each other to give their friends hugs. These were pure and genuine reactions of people who clearly didn't know what was coming. 

And it came across like this...

In the case of The Fault in Our Stars, I'm someone who read the book first. I grew to love that book and knew I wanted to see the film. I'm glad I' read the book first. However, when it came to those girls I really wanted to say "You should have read the book first." But in all honesty I don't have a problem with people who seem the film first, because I've been one of those people.

I became a fan of Harry Potter because I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in the cinema BEFORE I'd read the Harry Potter books. Yes, it was stupid seeing the last film and none of the others with no knowledge of the series, but I became obsessed with Harry Potter. Four years down the line, I still am. People often say "You're not a true fan if you didn't read the book first." and you'll get other book bloggers if one of us has watched the film before reading the book saying things along the lines of  "Shame on you." 

To that I say "SO WHAT?"

This is one of those issues that I constantly notice on blogs and on twitter and it's something that I really feel should be discussed. In some scenarios I feel you should read the book because there are things the films cut out, but if someone watches the film first and then becomes part of the fanbase, does that make them any less of a fan? Because they were told the same story just through another type of media, does that make them any less of a fan? I don't think it does. I don't think that it makes me any less of a Harry Potter fan because I saw the films first. And if those girls in the cinema become fans of The Fault in Our Stars, it doesn't mean that they're not true fans because they saw the film first.

As fans, we all like the same story, no matter how that story has been told to us. 

Holly x


  1. I agree completely. I think that films made of books are great as they introduce people to a brilliant book who may never have even heard of it, and just because someone is introduced to a fandom a different way to someone else,it by no way makes them less of a fan. I'm like you, there are some fandoms I've read books first and some I've seen films first, and I like that. To me, both are brilliant ways of hearing a new story. I absolutely love this post Holly! xoxo

    1. I really love what you've said there - it's still bringing people to the fandom, no matter how they join it.
      Thanks Helena! xoxo

  2. *nods wildly* I AGREE. It shouldn't be a big issue. As long as you're enjoying the story, who cares, right?!? I try and always rea dthe book first, but that's more because I want to know what the author intended FIRST because movies so often change things. Again! I think that's not bad, per se. I love some of the changes they make. Like in the Maze Runner?! The ending made SO MUCH MORE SENSE in the movie than in the book, although I love the book an astronomical amount.
    I saw the Book Thief movie before I read the book and the book STILL made me cry. xD

    1. With the Book Thief, I struggle reading things about Nazism and WW2 etc, so I feel like if I watch the film first then I can decide whether I want to commit to such a long read.
      Thanks Cait! :D


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