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Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday Discussion: Do your Reading and Viewing Tastes Match Up?

As I wrote about a couple of times last week, I really get into the Oscars. But like everything in my life, I relate my flurry of movie viewing leading up to the big day to my reading habits.

I got to thinking about my personal movie preferences and how they match up with my reading choices. That led to me thinking about how others feel. Hence, a Monday Discussion is born.

I'll go first.  I am a huge fan of books that are slightly askew [click here for details on what I  mean] and I love a great psychological suspense story.  I also love books that play with narrative structure in interesting ways, ways that enhance the story, its characters, and the overall message/tone of the story.  Stories within a story also are a favorite of mine.

Looking at the 8 best picture nominees this year I found my 4 favorites embody everything I love about my favorite books.
  • Grand Budapest Hotel: story, within a story, within a story...; slightly askew [all Anderson movies are and I love them all]
  • Boyhood: interesting narrative structure that only enhanced the movie
  • Whiplash: that was a good old fashioned psychological suspense story that made me tense for the entire movie [in a good way]
  • Birdman: a story within a story [movie about a play], and definitely askew.
I was so surprised at how closely my reading tastes translated to these movies that I started thinking about all my favorite movies and TV shows. Without going into a long list here, I found this meshing of my tastes to be fairly universal across all of my leisure reading and viewing.

I also found my dislikes are equally as shared.  For example, I am not the world's biggest superhero fan.  I love comics and graphic novels, just not those that are superhero based.  Similarly, I don't have much patience for superhero movies.  It drives my family insane and they still can't believe I haven't seen The Avengers, but at least I am consistent. 

I think this topic is very important to think about as we help patrons.  I often tell librarians in my various training sessions that if they are struggling to get a patron to talk about what books they like to read, try switching gears and ask her about movies or TV shows he enjoys.

But, maybe that is not always going to work. I am interested to see if the rest of you are more like me [where the tastes are similar] or if watching a visual story leads you in a different direction than reading a printed one.

So, for today's Monday Discussion let me know if your reading and viewing tastes are complimentary or in direct opposition with each other.

For past Monday Discussions, click here.

3 comments:

Becky D. said...

I have thought quite a bit about this as well, and I find that my books and movie choices completely disagree. I love action adventure/spy/superhero movies as well as movies like The Grand Budapest Hotel, but I have no patience reading these types of books. Mysteries especially barely last a chapter before I am looking at the end and putting the book down.

On the other hand, my reading tastes tend towards historical romance and YA dystopia and while I love the Hunger Games franchise, I find I don't enjoy many of the other YA movies. And rarely do I find time to sit and watch a romantic movie.

But I do use movies and TV shows as a tool for RA because it opens the discussion about likes and dislikes.

Tara BPL Teen said...

I've had this discussion with my sister. Her viewing and reading preferences are vastly different. When she reads, she wants to think, when she watches TV or movies, she wants to relax and be entertained. Her favorite books are realistic and historical fiction. Her favorite TV show is the Walking Dead - not really the same thing.

I, on the other hand, tend to watch what I read - literally. I am much more likely to watch a TV show or movie if it was based on a book that I enjoyed. The books that I love best deal with magic, myth, darkness, sexuality, misfits, and counter-culture. My favorite movies are very similar.

Donna said...

My reading and movie-watching are pretty similar in terms of content, but just the opposite in terms of quantity. I've been averaging about 3 movies per year (or less) but read about 100 books (or more) in a year.

My favorite movies of recent years are:

"The King's Speech" (royalty, historical fiction, overcoming adversity) The book came out after the movie, I believe.

"Lincoln" based on "Team of Rivals" which I've read once and listened to once. I'm a Civil War and Lincoln buff.

"Selma" Demonstration of courage in seeking justice. I've read all three volumes of Branch "America in the King Years" and two volumes of Caro on Lyndon Johnson. I love big, multi-volumed histories.

I hardly watch TV at all so I can't use that as well as part of RA, but I find that people have an easier time describing a TV show than a book.