I never really understood why people said things like, "The movie was good, but the book was better..."
...until I started reading Harry Potter.
I had seen all the movies based on the first six books before I ever read the books all the way through. We had gotten a paperback version of the first book many years ago, but I never got passed the first few chapters back then. (Why that was, I couldn't tell you. Maybe I just had this thing against reading back then...) After the sixth movie came out, and I saw it in theaters twice, I decided it was time to start reading the books. I had become so swept away by the story, and I wanted to read the last book before the last movie came out. I just wanted to know so badly how the series ended, and I wasn't patient enough to wait a year and a half to find out.
So, I set a goal for myself: read all seven books before the first installment of the last movie comes out in December 2010. When I set this goal last summer, I had every intention of taking my time, and needing the year and a half to finish all seven. After all, several of the books surpass 700 pages, and my history with reading is such that I wasn't confident that I could finish in less time. However, I must have underestimated myself!
What I had set out to do in a year and a half I finished in less than three months. I would work my 4-11 shifts, come home, and read chapter after chapter, sometimes as late as 2:00 in the morning! I was so enamored by the subject matter that I could literally not put the books down. If I had any spare moments during the day, I read. Before I went to bed, I read. After I got up in the morning, I read.
This was also when I discovered just how great the library is. I didn't want to go out and spend money I didn't have on books (if I was going to buy them, I wanted brand-new books in hardback covers), so I came to the realization that the library was the perfect place to get them without having to spend a penny out of pocket! I was re-discovering something I had known as a child: that the library is a great place. I could pick up a book, take my time to read it, bring it back, and pick up the next one! If my local library didn't have it, they could get it from another library in the system. What a great system!
Now that the release of the last movie is approaching, I have decided once again to read all the books before it comes out. This time around, however, I have less free time to read now that I am working more "full-time" hours. But, I am determined to finish to make sure all the details are fresh in my mind when I sit down to watch the last movies. So far, the movies have not disappointed me after reading the books, though of course now I can truthfully say, "The book was better." I cannot recommend these books more to anyone out there that hasn't read them, and I am so glad there are people out there that have such great imaginations to come up with great literature like Harry Potter.