Is it better to read the book before watching the movie or TV show adaptation? Here's what Americans say

·2-min read

Almost three in five Americans hope their summer reading choices will make them seem more intelligent, according to new research. 

In a recent survey of 2,000 U.S. respondents, 56% admitted to reading at least one "serious" book in the summer to look smarter. 

Thirty-six percent used the summer months to brush up on their knowledge of history, while two in five said they read more mysteries on summer vacation than they do at any point of the year. 

More than half (53%) looked forward to romantic reads on their holiday break — including, surprisingly, more men than women (56% vs 37%).

Men were also more likely to admit they use the summer to read books they like without fear of judgment (73% vs 62%).

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of ThriftBooks, the study also revealed that while summer is the biggest season of reading for almost half of respondents, they're planning to add an extra half hour of weekly reading this fall.

Two in five said they'll base their fall reading selections on recommendations from people they know, more so than best-seller lists (33%) and even book club picks (22%).

Respondents also shared examples of the best books they've read that they'd originally assumed would be "fun" and "mindless," including "Something Wicked This Way Comes" by Ray Bradbury, the "Plum" novels by Janet Evanovich and "Desperation" by Stephen King.

And almost half (48%) said they're eager to read a book that has been made into a Netflix show. 

But is it better to read the book first, and then watch the adaptation afterward? Eight in 10 respondents think so.

"It's interesting that many of the books that became people's favorites started out with low expectations," said a ThriftBooks spokesperson. "Just like with human relationships, it sometimes takes a while to get to know a book beyond its first pages."

Nearly half of respondents said they love reading physical books because of how the pages feel, 46% love seeing their progress while reading and 42% use it as quality time away from screens.

Among the various book formats, most respondents still prefer paperbacks (51%) and hardcovers (46%) to e-readers (34%) and audiobooks (23%).

"It's great to see the continued love and appreciation people have for physical books," the spokesperson added. "People still love to snuggle up with a good read; it's a great way for them to slow down and immerse themselves in another world."

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