Seriously though, something that's given me pause for thought for many weeks now is the relationship between books and films. And behind (nearly) every good film is a great book. Without a writer's - or script writers' - imagination, the vast majority of films wouldn't exist. Yet as someone recently pointed out, films are more commercially valuable than books: People will pay more to watch a film than they're willing to pay for a stonking good read. But are films better than books? Once an actor; say for argument's sake: Tom Cruise, pulls on Jack Reacher's trousers (or breaks open a brand new packet of Jack Reacher's underpants) then Jack Reacher is forever fixed in the public image as a man who resembles the actor, Mr Tom Cruise. Which isn't a bad thing, but immediately, imagination is curtailed. Some fans of Lee Child's nomadic hard hitting gun slinging loner took to the internet to protest: This wasn't how they'd envisaged Jack Reacher, and no doubt some even boycotted the film, preferring to keep their own image of Jack Reacher alive. Yet any movie goer who has yet to read Lee Child's series is going to see Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher.
I don't dislike films, although in my youth, I got dragged along to the South Bank to watch too many "art-house" movies, with a friend who was also a film critic. Thankfully, he wasn't the type who insisted on discussing his work, and didn't even mind if I fell asleep during the film. (It was dark, and the actors had long intellectual conversations in intense but low voices.)
I enjoy a good action packed movie; preferably one with car chases, explosions and the good guys winning. Even more enjoyable are those movies that nudge a little lever in your imagination and spark curiosity. But given the choice between watching someone else's interpretation of a fictional or factual story, or reading the printed words and painting my own internal images, for me, a book has more value than a film. The director of a film decides every last detail, a skilled author has learned to trust their readers' imagination to fill in the gaps. In my mind, that's a invitation to become part of the adventure.