Sunday, June 19, 2011

Guest Post: Melissa Lemon + Cinder and Ella

Author Melissa Lemon is stopping by the blog today as part of the Cinder and Ella Blog Tour to talk about two of my very favorite things: books and movies. Give me either of those two things or a combination of both and I'm pretty much the happiest girl ever. Take it away Melissa!

What you get from reading that you cannot get from film and vice versa:

Reading is brain exercise. With each sentence, you have to think about eight times as much as when you watch a movie.* (That statistic is entirely made up, but you get the point, right?) It’s kind of like comparing running at a steady 5mph rate to a stroll in the park. You have to imagine what characters look like, sound like, and where they are at, even if the author is great at description. The picture in your head ultimately comes from…you. You also get a deeper character and setting experience. With film, the actors are putting on a show that is often set on a stage. I never seem to be able to get over this when I’m watching a movie. I’m always thinking things like, I bet they couldn’t stop laughing when they were shooting this part, or That’s a stunt double right there or That bridge is so not real. But with reading, and maybe this is a result of having to do more work, it can be as real as if you are actually there. The characters become your friends. They seem so real sometimes it’s hard to believe the book they’re in is fiction. It’s sad to say goodbye at the end of the book. Usually. That is the power of the written word.

Not that this is meant to make you choose between the two, because watching movies is pretty awesome, too. One of my favorite things that we get from movies that we can’t get from reading is music. Honestly, can you imagine the world without soundtracks, John Williams or that amazing guitar solo in the movie Uncorked, which is obviously NOT played by Rufus Sewell? (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ve got to see it.) Then again, with technology, who’s to say that books and music won’t be a package deal someday? Hmmmm. Another thing we get with movies is special effects. My brain has yet to produce on the fly something as incredible as the worlds and creatures shown us in the movies Avatar and Lord of the Rings. Yet, some computer genius can throw it all together for me and I can see it. That is the power of film.

Reading a book and watching a movie are both activities that come with a personalized experience. One may come while you’re curled up in your favorite chair and wrapped in a fuzzy blanket. The other may come with popcorn and 3-D glasses. Reading is done best while the lights are on and movies are much better when the lights are out. Each gives us something valuable and entertaining and has the power to make us feel something.

So this weekend, I hope you get the chance to read a good book or watch a great film.

*Not that some movies don’t make you think so hard that your brain wants to explode, because that has happened to me a time or two.

Thanks so much for popping in Melissa! I have to say music is one of my favorite parts of a movie too, it adds so much to my reactions and is instrumental (ha! I amuse myself) in whether I'm happy/sad or about to jump out of my seat or falling totally and helplessly in love. *cue sappy romantic music as I go off on a tangent* For more information on both Melissa and her upcoming young adult novel Cinder and Ella (releases November 8th), you can find her here:



  1. I agree the characters feel more real in books. Great guest post :)

  2. I enjoy movies, but books are the best :D It's so much easier to connect to the characters in the books.

  3. I understand what Ms. Lemon is saying, when you read, you make the movie in your head. That is why movies of a book are sometimes a let down. The idea of the soundtrack is so on track!!!! Thanks for the insight. I'm off to pick up a good book.

  4. True, I mostly turn me brain off when I watch movies ;) And that is why I love books, though I also love movies cos I do not need to think

  5. I definitely agree that music is a big part of film. But also the way certain shots are set can be really gorgeous. I love reading more than watching movies, though. It's easier for me to invest in a story/characters in a book, for some reason.
    Great guest post! :)

  6. Loved the author's book vs. film comparison. For me . . . with the power of the written word, characters DO become my long-time friends, even for years. With the power of film, I visually can escape, but don't retain the emotional attachment with characters. Excellent post!

  7. A lot of the time, I'll purposefully watch a movie for the purpose of not having to think too much. I LOVE movies. They are an excellent escape from reality. The only downsides are that they are too short and the characters don't get to truly develop like I'd like to see. Hence my reading addiction. ;D

    And as for music in films, it is the mood decider. Those scenes in Jaws where the shark shows up and they play those 2 chords, progressively faster, wouldn't have been the same if the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy had been played instead. (hehehe!)

    Great post!
    In the Closet With a Bibliophile

  8. With books I imagine things one way and when I go see the movie there are times where I'm thinking that thats not how I pictured it at all.

  9. What I love about books is that you can imagine characters to look like however you want. The special effects in movies however are awesome too. Avatar and LOTR are definitely two good examples to pick since I loved both.

  10. I agree... love music! I need a soundtrack of my life. Hope it's good. ;) Great post! I really enjoy these.

    Oh and you know... you have the BEST first name EVAR! ;D

  11. I'm always UNDER Melissa... *just an observation*

    I've heard so many AWESOME things about Cinder & Ella... Can't wait to read it.

    I want a soundtrack of MY life!

  12. Agreed! I love them both for pretty much the same reasons! Though I have to say, ever since I started blogging, reading has become infinitely more important and enjoyable to me than movies are.

  13. Such a true and thoughtful post! Reading has always been my thing, but movies have become my escape since starting blogging because I just don't think as much when I watch movies now haha

  14. Interesting thought that it's hard to separate the actors and the movie. I think this is especially true when you're watching the movie because it's an actor you like. You keep thinking of the person instead of the character.
    It's also problematic when books are made into movies. For example, Dan Radcliffe will always be Harry in my eyes now, even though the Harry in my head looked nothing like Dan before I saw the movie - he looked more like the Harry on the book cover.

  15. I have been seeing this book everywhere! I feel so out of the loop! I must read it !!

  16. I did spend the weekend reading, much to the annoyance of the little cousins I was babysitting. Why is it so easy to sit them in front of the T.V. to distract them while I read? I know it's wrong, but it feels so right.

    And I need to find out what you mean about that Rufus Sewell bit because I love him as an actor. I blame Dangerous Beauty!

  17. Oh I know what you mean about brain exercise, too many fluffy novels puts my brain on noodle, just like watching to much brainless TV can(Im looking at you Secret Life of an American Teenager).....

  18. I just received this wonderful book and it is certainly on my list to read! Thanks for sharing today.

  19. Movies without music...wouldn't be much of a movie! Great post!

  20. Great guest post. You know the music in the movie makes me feel certain things and can definitely alter the mood. Sometimes when I listen to music I think about the story I'm writing and it shapes the scene I'm writing or would write. But I see it in pictures, not words.

    I haven't heard of Cinder and Ella but I'll definitely look into it!


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