Just a note, this is for all book to film adaptations, the most recent on the list would be The Martian by Andy Weir (who you might call Andy Man, if you took Doug Sugano’s British Literature before 1800 class. I made a joke about that to my family but they weren’t nearly as amused as I was.).
I am ashamed to admit that I saw (and loved) The Martian before reading the book, I still haven’t read the book yet. Normally I have a strict read the book first policy but my mom wanted to see it for her birthday and you can’t say to your mom, “sorry you can’t do what you want for your birthday because I had other books in my reading list.” The last time I watched a movie before reading the book was The Fellowship of the Ring and that was because I was in the 6th grade. I have a feeling that I’m going to feel similarly about seeing this movie first as I do about seeing fellowship first. That feeling is cheated.
The problem with watching a film adaptation before reading the book is you get cheated from the experience of creating the characters for yourself. In my head Aragon and Viggo Mortensen will always be the same and now reading Mark Watney will always have Matt Damon’s voice. This makes me sad.
If creating the characters and scenes in your head is part of the joy of reading for you then you should always read the book first.
… I have similar feelings about audio books.