A lot of people like to say the phrase “Books will never die” even though some may not always believe it. Even I started to doubt it. You don’t see many people around reading classic literature unless you like to surround yourself with people that do. Most of the time I see people reading books that have been adapted into movies. Hollywood has been keeping the book market alive.
It seems like books are released with the expectations that a movie will be adapted. The main reason all comes back to money. Companies know that a book released along side a movie will make exponentially more than a stand alone book. Just think about all the book movies lately: Divergent, Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Gray, Enders Game, Twilight, Fault in Our Stars, Wild, The Hobbit, American Sniper, The Giver, Gone Girl, Paper Towns, Maze Runner, ect.
Releasing a movie based on a book appeals to more audiences. Many people feel they have to read the book before watching the movie to better judge it, or others will go buy the book just to say it was better than the movie. The movie trailers create hype for the movie and advertise the book at the same time. Movie editions of books are often released with the movie poster on the cover instead of the original design. It just makes more money that way.
So is this necessarily a good thing? I’m not sure if getting more people to read Fifty Shades of Gray and Twilight is a huge priority. But at least it gets people to read more. If people start reading more because of the movies about them, maybe they’ll like them so much they’ll branch out to different books. For instance someone could read Hunger games and love it so much they look for more dystopian novels like it, maybe 1984 or Anthem. Or someone could read Fault in Our Stars and then go read Catcher in the Rye because how much it influenced John Green. This isn’t going to happen every time but it’s a start.
The next goal would be to get people to read books without seeing the movie as an incentive. One suggestion I would have for this would be to expose reading to children at an early age. Read every night to a child, even if they’re too young to understand it, but later on it will make sense to them. Or in middle school make reading fun for the children. Pick a socially accepted and popular book. Let’s say right now it would be Fault in Our Stars. I’m guessing a good amount of the students would be excited to read that book. Afterwards talk about the book and what influenced the author to write it the way they did. Then later on in the class you can have them read Catcher in the Rye, or some other academically accepted novel, and explain the parallels between the two. Doing this will create a basis for which the students can actually appreciate the novel.
If you’re trying to influence an adult to start reading, pay attention to what media they consume. If they watch nothing but Doctor Who or Battlestar Galactica, suggest a sci-fi novel for them. Something close enough that it will pique their interest. Or if they watch Game of Thrones try getting them to read the books the show is based on or other fantasy books.
Movies have done a lot of good towards books. They boost sales and make people genuinely excited to read again, but if a person only reads books a movie is based on then they’re severely limiting themselves. In fact reading may actually be dead if it weren’t for Hollywood acting as a crutch for the book industry. No matter what the content is, the more people reading the better.