Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Watch a Film or Read a Book?

Some books just don't translate well into film anyway-Moby Dick is an amazing book, but the film versions are pretty bad. Like the Harry Potter books, there is too much information in most books to be put into a two hour movie. So it is wrong to watch a film instead of reading a book?

New findings from Blackwell have revealed what teachers have suspected for years. One in ten Brits confess to watching film adaptations of classic novels instead of reading the original books. Londoners were exposed as the most underhanded, with 16% pulling the wool over teachers' eyes by watching Baz Luhrmann's Romeo & Juliet and BBC's Pride and Prejudice; and Northerners were revealed as most honest with 93% preferring to study the traditional way.

The research, by leading book retailer, Blackwell, shows that in spite of some people taking the easy route to revision, the majority still favour a good read. Results mark the launch of a redesigned range of classic books by Oxford World Classics, available exclusively at Blackwell stores until the end of April.

Phill Jamieson, Head of Marketing at Blackwell, commented: "While there will always be those who choose alternative methods of studying, people still love reading classic books and many revisit them in their adulthood. We are delighted to be partnering with Oxford World Classics in bringing the great novels back to life and are inviting people to visit any of our 60 Blackwell stores to choose from over 700 classic titles on offer. There's something for everyone."

Other findings from the Blackwell survey show:

Film or Fiction? - 67% of Brits are unaware that popular films such as Ten Things I Hate About You, Clueless and Cruel Intentions originated from classic book titles.

Venus vs. Mars - 16% of women voted Pride and Prejudice as their favourite classic novel, whereas 9% of men chose Frankenstein, a story of guts and gore, as their best loved tale

Life Imitates Art - despite 27% of adults admitting they do not read classic books, 'modern' British society is becoming a real-life take on fiction:
- 54% believe we are descending into Dickensian Britain with binge drinking on the rise
- 30% see the WAG culture of trying to find a rich husband, similar to Jane Austen books
- 47% think young adults suffer from Peter Pan syndrome, living at home, refusing to grow up
- 61% agree people today are overly concerned with looks and possessions like in the classic book, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Jamieson concluded: "Classic books are timeless. You will find contemporary themes such as love, sex, murder, mystery and high octane drama in all the great novels, which is why they still to this day appeal to the masses through films and have parallels in our daily lives."

Blackwell has now been trading for over 125 years from its world-famous London flagship store at Broad Street in Oxford. Its staff continues to be renowned for their expertise, depth of knowledge and love of books since the first Blackwell shop opened its doors.

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