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Recently, I posted to the Kansas Library Listserv a thesis proposing a  
medium/long term "inverse" circulation effect pertaining to books made  
into movies ("Book Murder By Movies"--see below).  Once a movie  
version is made, turned into a DVD and circulated throughout the  
population, demand for the original book declines.

Unless I missed them, I don't see "Harry Potter" titles or "Lord Of  
The Rings" books on any of the "top 10" library lists posted!  Why is  
that?  Perhaps, "Harry" and "The Hobbit" were never on the lists?    
Could there be some validity to my conclusion?

Don't get me wrong!  I love movies and have a decent personal  
collection.  However, based on my experience as a high school  
librarian, when the movie comes out, that is the death knell for the  
circulation of the book.  Yes, I know some say movies increase  
interest in the title--movie "tie in" belief.  I don't buy it.  My  
guess is these sources are usually associated with the movie industry.

My best example of "movie murder" would probably be Lord of the  
Rings.  Over my 30 plus year library career the "Ring" saga had been a  
consistent top checkout title.  I could anticipate losing/replacing  
numerous copies of the Hobbit and the others every year.  Now, they  
mostly sit on the shelf unread.   Why read the book when you can just  
see the movie?   Of course, you can try to tell students/patrons the  
book or movie is different and the book is a lot better.  Although  
this is usually true,  most readers conclude if the movie title is the  
same then it is the same as the book.  One wonders if To Kill A  
Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, and etc. were not required reading,  
they would still be read?  Since their movie version(s), how many past  
good books or bestsellers are no longer even in print?

A more recent example is the timeless classic, I Am Legend by  
Matheson.  I've always needed multiple copies.  Since the movie,  
demand has probably decreased by 75%.  Have any of you noticed a  
decrease in circulation for Eragon, Lion, Witch, And The Wardrobe or  

In conclusion, I suppose nothing much can be done.  Once a title  
becomes popular or a bestseller, it is always going to be made into a  
movie.  Will or does the "graphic novel" treatment have a similar  
effect?   It would be refreshing if an author would refuse to sell the  
movie rights to his/her popular work!

Robert Hicks, Librarian
Arkansas City High School
Arkansas City, KS 

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