Before Gabe and I met face to face, he sent me a few little gifts....and several embarrassing displays of peonies at my office, over which I feigned "secret admirer", lest I be forced to explain exactly who had sent them. Eventually my officemates unscrambled the puzzle.

One of the first gifts he sent was an early 1900's copy of Jane Austen's Persuasion, a story about missed romantic opportunities, pining and other heart-thumping sub-plots. (Subliminal message much, love?) It's one of the best gifts I've received, especially given that I'd not told Gabe that I love Jane Austen. And it's really the most beautiful book--cognac brown leather, golden-tipped pages and aqua swirled interior. It sat in a prominent spot on my shelf for the past year and I've not yet cracked it with true intent to read. Often I just hold it and wonder why they don't make beautiful books any more.

But now Persuasion sits on my nightstand. I'm attempting to dive in. While there is rewarding romance within the pages, reading Jane Austen is work. It's not an easy-breezy beach read, and often I find my mind has wondered off mid-page.

And, I'm tempted to watch the film first...build an emotional connection with the characters, then tackle the book. But, I realize that's the lazy man's approach to book reading and likely not as rewarding. Or perhaps not?

Do you usually prefer the book or the movie version of storylines? Which do you tackle first--the pages or the theater?

P.S. I finally watched the new Jane Eyre movie this weekend. So fantastic. Cry. Cry. Cry.


  1. I think, with books like this, watching the movie first is a great idea. It's hard to build a connection with characters when wading through the change in style and syntax and the like.

  2. oh, that book is so beautiful! what an amazing gift!

    i actually watched the bbc movie of Persuasion over the weekend & have yet to read the book... however, i do feel that reading the book first is always the best way to go! i am currently reading Emma & i am waiting until i am finished to watch the movie for that one! :)

  3. That book is soooooo gorgeous!!!! It is very sweet that he got it for you. =)

    Well, I actually have found that it is better for me to go and see the movie and then read the book if I'm interested in seeing the movie. Otherwise, I sit watching the movie and comparing it to the book the entire time and I'm usually at least a little (or very) disappointed in the movie.

    But, if there is a book that I'm really excited about I read the book first. For me, the movies never live up to the books. (I happen to be a lover of words more than the silver screne. lol)

    Thanks for sharing your pretty picture and story!

  4. Always book before movie. You won't regret it. There's so much more to the characters and important details that movies can't always portray. There's also such romance in reading through the pages as well.

    But then again, I've never tackled Persuasion. It's a beautiful book and such a sweet gift! Good luck! :)

  5. I am definitely a book first and movie second, if ever. The version of the characters I create in my mind are much more enjoyable than those seen on the screen.

    The book is beautiful and such a lovely gift!

    Also, just watched the new Jane Eyre two weeks ago. I did enjoy it, but not as much as reading the book last year.

    Happy October!

  6. I LOVE Jane Austen and LOVE Persuasion. Definitely, definitely, definitely read the book first. (I must admit, however, I have not seen the movie.)

    I'm dying to see the new Jane Eyre, too. That's one of my favorite books!

  7. why don't they make beautiful books anymore? i wish they did. i love jane austen - i agree that sometimes she is a little difficult to get through, but i find it's worth it to power through.

    on another note, your ring & fingernail polish is so pretty.

  8. I love Jane Austen-- but I agree! She is hard to read! I find myself doing the same thing...every page my mind wanders off, but when you finally finish (the book, not the page lol!) it's so rewarding. I love reading the book before the movie because nothing compares to the feeling of anticipation you get when reading an amazing book!

    (I really need to see the new Jane Eyre....)

  9. I am on the fence about book or movie first. I agree that reading the book first will oft times make the movie more interesting. The reason being you get the nuance of internal dialog from the book that is absent from the movie.

    However, I have a very active imagination and am a very visual reader. Oft times, I can "see" the scene in my head as I am reading the book. If you see the movie first, the actors become the face of the character in my visual imagination. I find being able to give a face to the name will often increase my enjoyment of a book.

  10. Make sure to watch the movie version with Rupert Perry Jones! Not the one with Cirian Hinds! Bad, bad, bad!

    Anyway, that is a gorgeous book, and a lovely story to go along with it. ♥

    Wasn't the new Jane Eyre amazing?! I loved it so much...it makes me cry too. Gah, it was so good.

    Maria Elyse
    First Impressions
    Flying Ships Vintage

  11. I don't have a preference for which should come first. I treat the book and the movie as separate endeavors. That way I don't grind my teeth at how a movie mishandles a familiar storyline. And I've read some great books by seeing "based on the novel..." up on the screen.
    I've also learned NEVER to admit to my husband that I've read the book first because he'll ask "was that in the book?" (or something like that) all the way through the movie. aargh!
    I do share your appreciation for beautifully crafted books and keep an eye out for old copies at flea markets etc. It is a lost art.

  12. With Austen it's like reading in another language. I have to watch movie first so that I can get a grip on what is going on. More then once I tried to read P&P and gave up because I couldn't understand and then I watched the movie and it read much more easily. I also find with Austen that I start to think in a British accent! haha

  13. I adore Jane Austen, but the language is definitely harder work than your typical "chick lit," beachy read! I must confess, I've not yet read Persuasion. I think I will see the movie and then read it. Ooh, maybe that's what we could watch for our girly movie night/skype date?

    I love that Gabe bought you that book. He's such a catch!

  14. What a perfect gift.

    I'm a read the book first kind of girl. But for some reason Austen is the exception. I fell in love with the movies first.

  15. Oh, this is gorgeous! That book goes so well with your ring ;). I wish you the best of luck diving in to the novel. It'll be worth it, I'm sure! But taking a Major British Writers course right now, I fully understand the difficulty of what you're reading. It is truly not an easy task.

  16. Read it. It starts out a little slow, but as soon as Captain Wentworth shows up in town again, you won't want to put it down. In my opinion, Persuasion was Austen's most "romantic" book; not a ton of irony or satire, just a simple (but really beautiful) love story.

    If you feel like it, check out some of the movie adaptations after the fact. They all have their pros and cons.

    Actually, what I'd recommend doing if you're struggling finding the time to read it, is downloading the free audiobook from iTunes. It's public domain, so it's available for free, read by volunteers. This is how I first read it. Go to iTunes and search for "Persuasion." Then look under Podcasts. You'll see at least one version from a group called LibriVox. Happy reading. =)

  17. I loved Persuasion and have read every Jane Austen I can find. For some reason, to me, it is relaxing. I think I am usually a really intense reader, not setting a book down for days at a time. I've been known to not sleep. Jane Austen is what I read when I want to read a little more calmly (i.e. keep my life, go to work) although even then sometimes I can't put it down.
    And as a principal I try to never read books and watch the movie. I either do one or the other. Otherwise I am always disappointed.
    Enjoy Bethany, you have a wonderful man and a wonderful book!

  18. What a great gift!

    With books that I've heard have a somewhat difficult story line (or are hard to get into - but are still amazing) I tend to watch the movie first so I can picture exactly what's going on while I read it.

    x Jasmine

    PS. I'm having a giveaway!

  19. Definitly book first then movie...I once read "Cat in the Hat" and then watched the movie....movie is much longer than the book but doesn't compare! The movie version made the cat look akwardly scarey... Dr. Seuss would not have approved!!

  20. I LOVED the new Jane Eyre too!! I can't make up my mind if I like to read the book and then watch the movie or the other way around. I Don't like watching the movie and knowing how it's going to end but then the book is almost always better.


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