Small pages to big screen

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By Sydnie Lane

Tillsonburg Public Library

Film adaptations of books. Love them or hate them, books continue to remain popular source material for films and send readers flocking to the cinema, eager to see how their favourite characters have been re-created for the big screen.

Readers take a certain ownership of their favourite books; after all, they have spent time immersed in the elaborate worlds created by authors, rooting for the characters they love, and hoping for a happy ending. Readers want to make sure films do the book justice, and this is a tall order for most directors; some are more successful than others.

Take last summer’s box office hit, The Hunger Games, adapted from the first of Suzanne Collins’ young adult book trilogy. The Hunger Games film grossed over $650 million at the box office, drawing die-hard fans eager to learn if Jennifer Lawrence really was the right fit to play protagonist Katniss Everdeen, along with viewers simply looking for an exciting action/adventure flick.

The film also re-generated interest in Collins’ trilogy, propelling sales so high that The Hunger Games books have surpassed the Harry Potter Series to become the all-time bestselling book series! The fans have spoken, and this adaptation was a resounding success.

More recently, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 classic novel, The Great Gatsby, was adapted once again for the screen. Critics generally panned the film, yet it had an extraordinary opening weekend at the box office, generating over $50 million dollars of revenue in North America alone.

The novel has seen resurgence in popularity, and sales of Gatsby skyrocketed over the past 30 days. Sales of electronic copies for eReaders and tablets increased more than 250% around the world according to the popular eReading service, Kobo.

An article in the Toronto Star indicates that print sales of the book have “quadrupled compared to what they were last April on,” and has seen a rise in popularity in the general public. We have also seen a massive rise in the popularity of Gatsby at the library, so if you’re interested in borrowing a copy contact us soon!

Other book-to-movie adaptations we’re looking forward to include:

Catching Fire (the sequel to The Hunger Games) set to hit theatres this November.

Max Brooks’ book World War Z, centring around survivors of the zombie apocalypse is set to be a summer blockbuster and will be released in June

Harrison Ford stars in the adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s sci-fi classic, Ender’s Game, also expected this November.

What’s your favourite book-to-film adaptation? Let us know on our Facebook page,

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