6 TV Shows That Are Actually Books (& Why You Should Probably Read Them)

Posted by Maria Vicente

Tyrion approves of your plans to do some reading.

Book adaptations are wonderful things. Seeing our favorite characters and settings come to life is a rare occurrence. However, there is a certain charm and authenticity in the written word, which is why you should probably pick up the original books if you watch any of the following TV shows.

GOOSEBUMPS | Based on the Goosebumps series by R. L. Stine

I loved the Goosebumps TV show as much as any kid in the 1990’s, but there’s so much excitement in reading those books that will never translate perfectly to the screen (especially the fantastic choose-your-own-adventure editions). R. L. Stine is the king of children’s horror.

DEXTER | Based on Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

The book series is entirely different from the TV show. I don’t want to ruin the plot of either for anyone, but the book series really is a different story.

GAME OF THRONES | Based on A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin

Spoilers are the worst. Read the books and you’ll know everything that is going to happen before everyone else watching the TV show. Don’t you want to know who’s going to die before another wedding airs on HBO?

THE WALKING DEAD | Based on The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman

The Walking Dead is actually a comic book series, which you should pick up and read if you want to experience the original visuals for the story.

GOSSIP GIRL | Based on the Gossip Girl series by Cecily Von Ziegesar

The Gossip Girl book series started when cell phones and online blogging was just starting to hit its stride, so the drama is even more scandalous than on the show. The characters are also drastically different. For example, Jenny Humphrey is a brunette with a considerably large chest, and Vanessa Abrams has a shaved head and only wears black clothing. Yeah.

SHERLOCK | Based on the stories of Sherlock Holmes  by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock is an amazing adaptation, but the original stories are just as great. The chemistry between Sherlock and Watson is evident in the books—and the Victorian setting adds to the mysterious atmosphere.

Maria Vicente is an associate literary agent at P.S. Literary Agency. She likes books, coffee, design, & magic. You can find her on Twitter (@MsMariaVicente) or her blog, ibelieveinstory.com.