September 6th is "National Read a Book Day," which is great news for nerds who celebrate every meaningless holiday, but bad news for all the rest of us who hate big, lame books.
So what do you do when some weirdo in your life who actually knows it's National Read a Book Day asks, "Hey, what did you read for National Read a Book Day?" Easy. You make like the president, and you lie.
Luckily, a lot of those books you never actually wanted to read have been adapted into movies that you can watch and maybe, kind of, get the gist of. To help you out, we've composed a list of some of the most accurate movie adaptations of stupid books nobody cares about, so you can trick your friends and family into thinking you know how to read.
The Golden Compass
New Line Cinema
YA fantasy nerds love Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy for some reason, but watching The Golden Compass movie makes it pretty obvious that the books are no good! It's no wonder they didn't make a sequel. In fact, the only cool thing in the whole movie is the armored polar bear, and you can see that on the DVD cover. Honestly, you don't even need to watch it: Just tell people you're reading The Golden Compass and that your favorite character is the polar bear. They'll probably believe you.
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
People who read books consider Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to be an integral part of Western literary canon. According to Tim Burton's 2010 adaptation, the book seems to be about The Mad Hatter, a wacky man with a big hat and wild red hair and a gap in his teeth. He enjoys drinking tea and saying cryptic things that don't actually mean anything. The Mad Hatter also seems to have romantic feelings for Alice, who I think is supposed to be a child, so that's creepy. No idea why people like this book.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Warner Bros. Pictures
The real The Hobbit is just a single volume, but there are three movies, so I picked the first one. The Hobbit follows a pretty rude, standoffish little dude named Bilbo (lol), who goes on an adventure with a bunch of big-nosed dwarves (except one of them who doesn't have a big nose and is very handsome). Their goal seems to be waging battle against a very fat goblin. The plot is pretty hard to track, but basically they all meet the fat goblin, and then the handsome dwarf knocks him off a cliff. The hobbit never really does anything, so if you want to seem really smart, try saying, "I'm reading The Hobbit, but I really think Tolkien should have made the handsome dwarf who doesn't have a big nose the protagonist."
The Weinstein Company
Now this is a great book. The Giver has everything: a hunky male lead, steamy romance, and adrenaline-rushing chase scenes. It's one of those non-stop action sort of books that you just can't put down, or at least that's what I gathered from watching the movie. Boiled down, The Giver is about a 16-year-old guy living in a repressed society who tries to escape with the girl he loves. Standing in his way are a council of old people, his former best friend (who he punches in the face), and military-grade UFO drones. The drone capture scene is definitely one of the standout moments in The Giver and certainly one that any book reader will regard as a favorite.
The Dark Tower
UGH. The Dark Tower might be the most boring, simplistic book series ever created. It's so boring, in fact, that they fit eight entire books into a 95-minute movie. I'd tell you what it's about if it was actually about anything, but it's not. Matthew McConaughey plays some as*h*le named Walter who's trying to destroy a tower for no reason. To do this, he kidnaps psychic kids, because apparently he hasn't heard of explosives. But one of those kids meets Idris Elba first, and Idris Elba is a cowboy, so they go find Walter and shoot him. I thought Stephen King was supposed to be a great author, but honestly, this movie does not reflect well on his writing.
The Cat in the Hat
Truly one of the scariest books of all time, The Cat in the Hat is about two poor children who are home alone, minding their own business, when a horrendous cat-man wearing a torn off human face breaks in. He destroys their home and ruins the lives of the children and everyone around them. This is the stuff of nightmares, and if Stephen King had any actual talent, this is the horror novel he'd have written.