As someone who grew up in the 1990s, I was an avid fan of “The Baby Sitter’s Club”. At one point I probably owned every book. As I got older reading for the joy of it stopped simply because I didn’t have the time whether it be school, extracurricular activities, or my small but existing social life. Anyways, it wasn’t until years later, that I finally got back into reading for the fun of it again.
The book that got me interested in reading again was a graphic novel called Fun Home. A new musical called Fun Home was at the time playing off-broadway at The Public Theater in New York. Fun Home was based on a graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. I missed this off-broadway run, but at some point I figured with all the good press it was going to come to the Broadway stage. Therefore, I figured in the meantime I would read the graphic novel which the show was based on.
While reading Fun Home, I soon got interested in reading again on a more regular basis. Many books these days are getting the adaptation treatment by being turned into television series and movies. Two of the most successful television series that came out of 2017 were in fact adapted from novels. Big Little Lies (by Liane Moriarty) and The Handmaids Tale (by Margaret Atwood) were two series that stood out from the rest. They were a hit with audiences and critics alike. Both series cleaned up at the Emmys and Golden Globes. The ratings for both were extremely well, with both getting the go ahead for a second season. Big Little Lies and The Handmaids Tale showed how it is possible for acclaimed novels to be turned into great shows with the proper care. These two series truly were able to keep the essence of their books alive. That’s not always the case with adaptations. I always think when it comes to adaptations, it’s always better for a book to be turned into a television series rather than a film. There’s just so much to tell that a two hour movie can’t always cut it. It doesn’t have the amount of time to tell a story the way it properly deserves, as in the case with The Girl on the Train (written by Paula Hawkins). An excellent read as a book, but completely rushed and not the same quality as a movie. An example of how a popular and smart thriller novel turned into a dud of a film with not enough time to tell its story in a decent manner.
Initially, Big Little Lies was intended to be just a mini-series. But with its huge success the want for more episodes followed, and what started out as a mini-series is now a full fledged series! After some time, it was announced that the show would be renewed for a second season scheduled for 2019. I, for one, was extremely thrilled to hear this news. I absolutely loved the book. It kept you on the edge of your seat with every twist and turn as the pages went on. I loved the series as well. To have a book adapted into a series you never know how it’s going to turn out. There were definitely differences between the book and series as one might expect. After the initial, “Hey, that’s not the way it was in the book”, you start to adapt at some point to the changes. There were changes between the two but the series handled them so well, you just accepted it and it didn’t really matter anymore. Also, at the end of the series, I felt like I was just now getting to know these characters. The show was great, but it felt like there was more to tell.
There is another reason I love to read books that get the adaptation treatment. It’s motivation for me to finish the book, and see how the book will hold up in its new form. Whether you like the adaption or not, at least you read in the process. For 2018, I’m looking forward television adaptations of popular novels, Sweetbitter (by Stephanie Danler) coming to Starz, and Sharp Objects (by Gillian Flynn) coming to HBO. Will these two adaptations become the mega hits like Big Little Lies and The Handmaids Tale? Only time will tell.
I like the quietness that reading has to offer. No outside sounds or distractions. You can shut your mind off for a moment and the outside world. Just reading in silence, I have found to be as close to a relaxing thing as I can find. Sometimes my mind can go a mile a minute and for at least a little bit of time, I can just focus on a story in a book. Forget my everyday troubles and read about something that takes me into another world. I try to read at least ten pages at a time when I do. As a slow reader, reading ten pages is easy. No pressure to read everything at once. Sure, it takes longer, but reading is not suppose to be work, it should be enjoyable. By reading a book in this manner, I feel like I can really savour the story as opposed to reading it in one sitting. I go at my at my own pace as I do with everything in life. Usually I’m the last one to the finish line, but at least I get there at some point.