I was talking to somebody last week, who mentioned they had recently read my review of Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse. Now if you recall, that wasn't exactly my favorite book. "Only Naked Lunch surpassed it in...un-readability," I said at the time. However, this person said that it was their favorite book. My first reaction would be that this is only possible if it's the only book you've ever read. Of course that isn't the case, and nor am I so narrow minded to think so. I find it fascinating how one person can love a book so much, while another can, well, dislike it so much. I don't think it means any of us are wrong of course, but only that we have different tastes and appreciate different things. And there in lies the appeal of books, and the appeal of discussing them.
What can be more interesting than talking to somebody who loves something you hate? It's like standing on opposite sides of the Grand Canyon, and then meeting afterward to talk of each other's perspective.
While movies can spark similar debate, or rather discussion, it is never as broad as a book. With the visual aid of a movie, there isn't as much open to interpretation. In a book, a character can be so different from reader to reader, while a movie shows you Tom Cruise, and that's sort of the end of that. And it isn't just characters; style, dialogue, settings, and even plots can be interpreted so differently.
To me, this is why the book is always better than the movie, and why books are always more interesting than the movie. But as much as I love all this discussion and debate, at the end of the day, it takes a pretty strange person to love To the Lighthouse. Either that or they're smarter than I am. That couldn't be, could it?