No, You Don't Have to Read the Book Before You Watch the Movie

It's may be time to ban book-shaming -- and just watch the movie.

— -- Attention book shamers: Stop.

You know who you are. You're the one who keeps chiming in, "Read the book first!" when your friends say they're going to see "Gone Girl," and who swears that the written version is always better than what's adapted for the big screen.

"Quite honestly, reading a book and watching a movie are two completely different experiences," she said. "They're completely different mediums of expression. I don't necessarily look for the movie to identically repeat the experience of reading the book and vice versa."

Stimola does prefer to read the book first -- she works in publishing, after all -- but she says her choice is just that: a personal preference.

And even with "The Hunger Games," a series that spawned two blockbuster films with another pair on the way, she doesn't think fans need to read the book before watching the dystopian story unfold at the theater.

"In the book, we never leave Katniss Everdeen and we can only see the world through her eyes," Stimola said, noting that the book is written in first person in the voice of its heroine. "In the movie, it's a broader and more objective view of the world there. But both are equally valuable and important."

Writer Brandy Miller adds that reading the book first can even spoil the experience. The shocking end to "Gone Girl" isn't so shocking if you've read the book, for example.

"I usually read the book before watching the movie, and that habit tends to result in bitter disappointment when the movie fails to live up to the book," she said. "Let's face it. There are many things inside a book that you just can't capture on screen."

"There have been plenty of times when I found myself practically gritting my teeth as I watched because the movie got the book all wrong," Miller added.

Screenwriter Christina Welsh, who recently helped adapt the book "Addicted," for film, says she also doesn't think moviegoers should stress over reading the book before seeing the movie.

"I think there's something great about going to the movies and being surprised," Welsh said. "If you haven't gravitated toward reading the book and the movie is coming out, I'd say just see the movie. Read the book afterward."

"Don't be shamed into reading a book," she added.