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The Movie is Better than the Book

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/7/2016 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,003 times Debate No: 86185
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
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I'd like to make a statement that movies in general are better than the book. "Better" is a loose interpretation on purpose to encourage a wide scope of things to use to prove each side's point.

When I use the term "general" I mean usually. That means if you don't know the story and someone asks you "Do you want to watch the movie or read the book of ______ story?" that picking movie will be the better option.

1) Trolling equates to a definite loss.
2) First to Forfeit a round results in an automatic loss.
3) On the final round, any new arguments presented are to be ignored by the voters.

Does ye accept my challenge?


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


First I'd like to start out by stating that it takes much less time to watch a movie than to read a book. Movies are about one and half hours. Maybe even two hours. A book can take a whole day to read and possibly even longer. For the modern day we live in people have schedules and do not necessarily have the time to spend on a long book. You will be able to enjoy more stories if you are an avid movie watcher than if you are a book reader.

Another point I"d like to make is that movies allow more sensory involvement than a book. In a movie you use one of your main senses for critical thinking. The visual picture is crucial for interpreting data. There is more to be seen in an image than a couple pages of paper explaining a picture. Books can involve imagination, but can also distance themselves from the author"s original intent if they interpret the text incorrectly. In movies, there is often music. Music uses the auditory part of the human brain and can invoke the correct emotion that the story teller wants to convey. A book cannot do this. The visual and auditory aspects of a movie can be added together simultaneously to add the correct emotion and message it wants to give across.

A lot of children in schools are forced to read a lot of textbooks and this can be especially boring for them. This makes an association in their mind that "reading" = "boring". When they are transferred over to fantasy/fiction reading some of those feelings are anchored to the facts that they previously have about reading. Note that this is not automatically true for everyone, but it is true for enough to people to make the point valid. I also add emphasis on fantasy books and fiction, because a lot of the books made into movies fall into that genre.

Movies are also generally more interesting and valuable than textbooks or books about history/science. There is a reason kids groan in school when having to read another book their teacher hands them and get excited when they get to watch a movie. When reading a book about facts sometimes the number of facts can get overwhelming and some of the important ones can be forgotten. When watching a movie, the unnecessary details are left out. With the combination of visual and auditory messages a student, or person in general, can take more away from the information being presented. When something is more entertaining it is also easier to be remembered[1].

If by chance you are forced or made an agreement to watch a movie/book and it happens to be a boring topic, you will be in much more distress making your way through the book than watching the movie which consumes less time. My brother and sister were both forced to read Johnny Tremain in school. This book was very boring for them. I had to watch the movie in school. I suffered having to watch this god-awful movie, but I endured the pain in less time.

When you read a book it is much easier to lose your spot in a page if there is a distraction in the room. With a movie you can turn the volume up or even watch a movie on your computer if other people don"t want to hear it. If you have to get up to blow your nose with a tissue you can easily pause a movie and hit play when you come back. When reading a book, you have to finish the paragraph/page in order to not get lost when you come back. In the process you might have a gob of liquid snot drop on the page. When you get up to grab a tissue the pages might glide over to a different spot if you didn"t crease the book. Now you lost your spot and two pages are stuck together because of the snot on the page. Books are so long you sometimes need bookmarks and can have 3 or more books going at once. If you neglect the book long enough, you will forget what you were even reading about and lose interest.

Movies are better for a wide range of people. Some people are illiterate and can"t read, but much more people can understand speech. You can even understand what is going on in a foreign movie, to an extent. With a book it would be pretty much impossible. Book people are more often willing to enjoy the movie version of that book. A movie person is more likely to enjoy the movie, but won"t bother with the book. Lord Of the Rings is a popular book as well as movie. Book people, who enjoyed the book, tend to like the movies as well to a lesser extent. However, movie people that watch the movie, might not be able to stand the enormous details given in the book.

The social aspect of watching a movie is much more engaging. People can go to the movie theatre with their friends/family and can experience the emotions and story line together. Some people enjoy talking throughout the movie and relating with characters and moments in the story. You can read in a book club, but when you are reading it is often too slow and may take the span of days. Not everyone will necessarily attend all meetings and they could miss out. Also, you are much better off taking a first date to a movie then you would read a book together. The reading thing could get awkward real fast especially if one of you had a stutter or felt self-conscious about reading out loud.

Watching a movie passes no judgement. You can try and interpret the deep meaning of a movie or you can kick back and relax. It is free for you to decide. Movies are more time efficient as well as more stimulating. It is much more effective for learning, appeals to a wider range of people, and it can be an incredibly social experience as well.



Since my opponent didn't give any framework for the round structure I'm going to assume this round is only for opening conentions.

Contention 1: Health Benefits of Readings

Subcontention 1: Reading reduces the risk of Alzheimers Disease
A study out of an Ohio university shows that people who engage in simulating activites such as reading have a reduced risk of Alzheimers disease [1.] It suggests that exercising the brain helps reduce the risk [by almost 2.5x] because inactivity of the brain is what increases the risk of developing Alzheimers in the first place.

Subcontention 2: Reading slows the decline in memory and brain function
With age comes a decline in brain function, but it's been shown that regular reading can slow the process. Think of it like this, muscles benefits from physical exercise and workouts, this keeps them functional and efficient. The same goes for your brain. When you're reading material, the parts of the brain that have evolved for functions such as vision, language, and associative learning all work together, and this is a demanding task which serves as a workout for the brain. When you read, your mind must contruct and image what the words are telling you, instead of in films where it's all put out for you to absorb in a much simpler and less tasking fashion. This is all backed by a paper published on Neurology [2]. This paper was testing that the prevalence of cognitive activity is realted to late-life cognitive disease. What they found was that early-life cognitive activity and frequent late-life cognitive activity were both associated with slower cognitive decline [2]. So it is clear now that reading actually tasks your brain more, and reduces the risk of mental illnesses later on in life.

Subcontention 3: It boosts intellectual development in children
A paper from the University of California, Berkely showed that children's books exposes kids to 50% more words that prime time TV. It is already known that exposure to new vocabulary normally leads to higher scores on reading tests, but higher scores on other tests of intelligence as well, as indicated by a paper out of Science Daily [3]. The study used 1,890 identical twins and found that those that the differences in their intellectual ability came from experiences that they didn't share. It noted that the twin with stronger early reading skills was found to have higher overall intellectual ability by the age of 7.

Conclusion: Reading has many health benefits and reduces the risk of late life mental diseases, such as Alzheimers. It also serves to slow down the mental and congnitive deterioration of the brain. Lastly it's important for children as well, because having good early reading skills has been shown to be correlative to higher overall intellect at a later age.

Contention 2: Story

Subcontention 1: Detail
It's obvious that it is much easier for a storyteller to put in important details about the story they're telling in a book than a film. Audiences that watch films are normally looking for a quick, one-time
dose of entertainment. This leads many book-to-film adaptations having to cut out information that is important to the story, in favour of a shortening the film. Is this really better? Would you rather watch an incomplete story with plot holes that takes place in settings that you have no reason to care about, or would you rather be immersed in a fully developed tale which informs you of many more details. Obvious the fully developed tale is the better story, because it allows the reader to look at past events and other details that the author threw in to make connections between them. An example of this is JRR Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings. He actually wrote a book [published posthumously] called The Silmarillion, which took place thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings. Once you read these two books however, it's very interesting and engaging to be able to take the early events of The Silmarillion and note how they effected the events of The Lord of the Rings. This is actually what many historians do as well, with real life evidence from the past. The added detail to the story, which is present in the book but not the film, makes the entire story and the world it takes place in more vast and engaging. This point is a good lead in to the 2nd subcontention.

Subcontention 2: Expansion
It is easier to expand on the written works of authors than it is to expand on films. We can look at the Star Trek and Star Wars material. Both franchises have dozens of written books, which are pretty popular in their own sense. These books are able to take the universe and create entirely new stories, without feeling the need to pay homage to the films that came before it. The new Star Wars film included quite a few actors and story references from the original trilogy, however that is what many critics said they overdid. Since the film is supposed to be one defining chapter of the franchise, the filmmakers felt obliged to tie their new story back to the originals, and in doing so they created a story that was almost identical to Episode IV: A New Hope. Books do not work this way. Writers don't feel anchored to the source material when they expand on it and write new material, and neither do the readers.

Subcontention 3: New Material
It is much easier for fledgling authors to produce books of their own than it is for fledgling filmmakers to produce films of their own. Authors simply need a laptop to type up a book over a period of time. Filmmakers need to go out and look for money to budget their project, they need to find a cast, a camera crew, a writing crew, etc. It's much easier for new authors to produce and distribute material than it is for new filmmakers to do the same. This means that as the audience, we get a wider variety of material to choose from.

Contention 3: Ease of Access

Subcontention 1: Time
A film is made to view in one sitting. Many times when you're watching a 2 1/2 hour film, you have to set aside 2 1/2 hours of your day to watch it. This is because the story of the film moves at a more brisk pace, and you feel like you've missed out if you watch it in say, 30 minute intervals. However with a book it's easy to just carry it with you and read for 20 minutes during say, a lunch break.

Subcontention 2: Portability
This is a pretty simple point. Books are easier to carry around and more accessible. Almost all books can fit into a backpack or a purse, and can be read almost anywhere as well; airplanes, at the bus stop, at work, etc. However for films, you need to find a DVD or Blue Ray player, a TV, and a nice private setting before you sit down for 3 hours straight to watch. The other alternative being to pay 14 dollars and driving out to the cinema to see it instead. Books are simply more accessible than films.

With that I'll end my arguments and pass it over to my opponent.


Debate Round No. 2


Here are my rebuttals to my opponent"s claims:

Reading reduces risk of Alzheimers disease

Although books decrease the chances of one getting Alzheimer"s disease it does not guarantee you will not get it. Like a lot of things in life, getting disease is quite an uncertain tragedy. Even a study based on people who read can have errors that scientists can not eliminate. For instance, the type of people who read may also be inclined to enjoy other intellectual activities like Sudoku puzzles or brain games. Studies show intellectual activities decrease the chances of getting Alzheimer"s in general [3]. Can scientists do a study where they control other things in people"s lives to the extent where they are not allowed to do other mind stimulating activities? No, they cannot since it would be immoral. We can conclude that reading decreases the chance of getting Alzheimer"s disease, but we cannot conclude how strong the reading aspect truly is.
The Average person in the US has an 11% chance of getting Alzheimer"s disease in their life time [1]. The average person in the UK has a 1.3% chance of getting a brain related disease in their life time. 62% of that 1.3% is Alzheimer"s disease[2]. Does this mean people in the UK read more than the US or do more things that stimulate the mind? Possibly, but it could be another factor. Such as the types of foods being consumed [4]. The listed source specifically mentions foods that Americans eat.
This proves two things. One, Alzheimer"s disease really isn"t much of a concern in some countries in the world as it is in other countries like the US. Second, reading is probably not as great of a solution for Alzheimer"s disease as my opponent originally stated.
There are lots of diseases to worry about So reading for the sole purpose of curing Alzheimer"s disease is a bit ridiculous. It is more like a cool fun fact that is slightly beneficial. It is better to just eat nutritiously and that will make you better off for much more diseases than just Alzheimer"s.

Detail is important in stories, but are they always necessary?

Some people enjoy petty details but other people don"t. For the ones that want details, they are free to discuss between other people who want to expand on a story in a movie. Online discussion/pages that are out there can help people understand deeper if they want to delve into the mythology of a story like LOTR. However, there are many of us who would not like to spend 3 tiny-font pages of our time reading about Boromir"s sword and how it looks. Reading, you don"t have a choice. Movies you at least have an option.

Expanding on stories (creating sequels)

I think the reason that StarWars VII was not as good as it could have been, is because the writers may have been too afraid to take risks. Resulting in a repeat movie. Sequels to stories in general are not as good though. This is true for both books and movies. Sometimes the sequel can actually be better. Take Starwars IV and Starwars V. The latter is actually a lot better IMO and other people agree too. (No way this can be proven since it is an opinion thing). The best example I can give is IMDB which gives episode IV a 8.7/10. Episode V has received a 8.8/10. My point is, movie creators are not bound by any rules. The StarWars franchise decided to exclude the expanded universe and did their own thing in episode VII. A writer of a movie sequel has a lot of freedom and only needs to spend a little time connecting dots to appease viewers. If movie writers feel they are bound by any rules then those are walls they built for themselves.
The fact that more money is spent into making a movie is even a stronger representation that it is not going to be a flop. Movies now days have CGI and are not going to have trouble with making things the way they want. On top of that they have more people working on the project and more minds are better than just one. For example, George Lucas had an idea of General Grievous and what he would be like, but didn't know exactly how to express it in the visual way. It wasn't until a sketch artist handed a drawing in at the last minute that George discovered what he wanted. The movies of Starwars is what made Starwars popular, people would be a lot less aware of the books existing if they were not there.

Movies pauses ruin the feel

Books are still the same way. Unless you make it to the end of a chapter. For semi-slow readers like myself this may actually take a while. Unless you are reading the book Holes where there are 50 chapters in it you will have to take a break at a bad time sometimes too. In fact, if it has been a while you might have to re-read a couple pages back to remember what was happening. For a movie this isn"t as big of a deal.

Movies are not portable like books

This is becoming no longer true each and every day since we have ipads and headphones. You can watch a movie pretty much anywhere on Netflix with a 4G connection. It is like carrying a bunch of movies in a single device. You can even store specific movies by downloading them.


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For the final round I will only be responding to my opponent's initial contentions in the 2nd round. I will not respond to what they said in the final round as that would be unfair.

RC1: Time
Here my opponent states that people don't have time to spend on long books, and that films take less time to read than a book. To counter this argument I will bring up one point that I've brought up before. Portability and ease of access. It's obvious that it's easier to read books over a longer period of time than watch a film over a longer period of time. The reason being that films are made to enjoy in one go, and not stop in between. Books on the other hand have chapters for a reason. You can read a chapter anywhere, on the bus, before bed, etc. and not miss out on the flow of the story, because it's made to be read over a longer period of time. If you don't have a solid 2 1/2 hour chunk of time to watch a film, you'll be missing out on the experience if you watch it in little bits.
Next my opponent states that "you'll be able to enjoy more stories if you are an avid movie watcher than a book reader." This is simply not true. Films are under severe time constraints compared to books, which may cause many of them to develop plots and stories that are too simple and 2 dimensional, or have very little character development. This means that although you can watch more films, you will not necessarily "enjoy" them all compared to books.

RC2: Sensory Involvement
Here my opponent states that films include more "sensory involvement." He states that this is through the visual pictures and the music. While this is true, he doesn't explain the benefits of any of this. The only thing he say is that interpretations of the books may vary from the author's original intent. However all writiers understand this, and many want their readers to interpret the world and create it for themselves. Tying this back to an original contention, the imagination and visualization that books enable readers to employ actually increases cognitive function, which has many health benefits. This is a great benefit of the visualizations readers do when they read books.

RC3: Schools
Here my opponent states that textbooks are boring for kids to read in schools, so this boredom associated with books is transferred over when they read fiction stories. However this is a problem caused by lack of reading in the first place. If the child had been exposed to age appropriate and entertaining literature before the school system forced them, then they would've already developed a love of reading that wouldn't be hindered by the textbooks. My opponent also makes the false claim that movies are more interesting and valuable than textbooks about history/science. First off, I'd like to point out that historcally, books that were written in the past are immensely valuable to historians today, and give the most info. The written word is a medium that can last much longer than any films, and is much easier to preserve as well [ex. religious books, writings in stone, etc]. My opponent states that kids don't like reading history books compared to films, and this is true in general. However this does not mean that films are a better way to teach them. You simply can't teach them the important details through films. While they may not like it, books are a better way for them to learn. My opponent states that a movie leaves out the "unimportant details," however what is unimportant? For example in history class, all events contribute to what happened, and it's important for kids to learn about all of them.

RC4: Boring Topics
My opponent states that if you're forced to read a boring book, it'll be harder to make your way through the book. However this is not necessarily true. A film will need to be watched in a large time block of 2 hours, whereas you can split up the book into short chapers, ensuring that you won't have to sit down for long periods of time reading through them.

RC5: Losing Spots
This contention is simply not true. Books and films are both the same in this level. My opponent states that you can turn up the volume if there are distractions, but again, if you're reading a book you can simply move to another quieter room. My opponent also states that you can watch a movie on your PC if people don't want to hear it, this is actually a disadvantage for films. With books there would be no one complaining in the first place about volume, because there is none. Next my opponent states that you can hit pause on a film but it's harder to "pause" in a book. This is not true. It's easy to simply leave a sentence partway, throw in a bookmark, leave and come back. It's quite easy to find your spot again. Next my opponent states that books are long and you need bookmarks. So? It just means it's a more fulfilling and complete plot with better character development. Just because a book needs bookmarks doesn't mean that it'll waste your time. You can simply read in pauses. Next my opponent states that you can have 3 books going at once. But again, that's totally up to the reader if they want to do that. I never read more than 1 book at once, and I never am forced to. This ensures that I won't lose interest in the book I'm reading.

RC6: Wider Range of Audiences
My opponent here talks about illiterate people who can't enjoy books. However these illiterate people are often very grateful for the chance to learn how to read and write, because these are basic skills needed to function productively in today's society. Reading books can actually help them develop these skills, ignoring it will simply handicap the person and prevent them from entering many professions that require reading and writing skills. My opponent talks about foreign films being easier to understand than foreign books. However unlike foreign films, which either have distracting subtitles or terrible quality dubs that don't sync with the lips, books are almost always translated into many other languages, making the translated book feel quite genuine.

This ends my rebuttals of my opponent's arguments. I thank them for instigating this entertaining debate.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by TheGodson 2 years ago
Twas a fun debate nevertheless.
Posted by TheGodson 2 years ago
Awww man, nobody voted. :(

I even put it in the forum section to try and drive traffic.
Posted by Midnight1131 2 years ago
To do that there should be an option that says "rich text." It opens up an option bar sort of like the one in Microsoft Word, with the options to bold and change font sizing and such.

I also agree this was a fun debate, hope you decide to stay on the site.
Posted by TheGodson 2 years ago
Regardless of the verdict, I had a lot of fun with my first debate on It sure is a good way to pass the time when you are working the night shift at planet fitness and you are the only person in the gym. lol.
Posted by TheGodson 2 years ago
Hey, now that we are done with the debate how do you make the headers and bold lettering? Do you use html for that?
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