People love to talk about movies that are poor adaptations of beloved books. But there are many times when the movies, good or bad, lead us to read the books that they were based on. That’s a good thing. And let’s be honest—sometimes the book isn’t as good as the movie!
Here is a list of books that I read because of their movies.
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. I might have ended up reading this anyway, because it is a favorite of one of my dearest friends, but I was also influenced by seeing parts of the mini-series on PBS.
- Austenland by Shannon Hale. I went on to read the sequel, Midnight in Austenland.
- Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding, plus the sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, which was also made into a movie.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. The film adaptation starring Gene Wilder (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory) is a favorite movie, and it definitely got me interested in Roald Dahl’s work.
- Dune by Frank Herbert
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. I only read the book because I heard that it was being made into a movie.
- Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie. There were several factors that contributed to my becoming an Agatha Christie fan, and this movie, which I saw many time as a kid, is definitely one of them.
- The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by R.A. Dick. I was so in love with the movie that I tried hard to keep my expectations low when reading the book. The book surprised me by also being good.
- Gremlins by George Gipe. This is a rare case of the book being based on the movie, rather than the other way around.
- Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, plus both sequels.
- The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. I went on to read at least one other book by the same author.
- Millennium by John Varley
- The Neverending Story by Michel Ende. I also read Momo by the same author, who I never would have heard of if it hadn’t been for this movie.
- Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. I still occasionally get songs from Oliver! stuck in my head.
- Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle. The movie was much better than the book!
- The Princess Bride by William Goldman
- The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. I went on to read many of the sequels.
- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
- The Shining by Stephen King
- Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
- The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
- Watership Down by Richard Adams. I went on to read Tales from Watership Down.
- The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. I haven’t read any of the sequels yet, but they’re all on my Kindle, so I probably will someday.
Are there any books that you read because the movies piqued your interest?