television adaptation of the blockbuster books Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. Hilary Mantel became the first woman and first Brit to win the Booker Prize twice (2009 and 2012) for these historical novels, which seem to have done the impossible and both won prestigious awards and proved enormously popular with "ordinary" readers. But will you be watching it on screen?
I find watching big or small screen adaptations of novels a bit of a Catch-22 (which, by the way, I've never seen, only read). If I haven't read the book, I don't want to watch the film/programme because I don't want to ruin it. If I have read the book, I don't want to watch because I know what's going to happen! Does anybody else find this?
In the end I usually pick one or the other - book or screenplay. For example, I'd been meaning to read The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky for ages, but ended up watching the film instead. Now I have no interest in reading it. Similarly, I adored The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene, and therefore have no intention of seeing the film. On the other hand, I would never have read Philippa Gregory's book The White Queen, but the TV series was a good diversion for a few weeks.
There are exceptions. When the first of the Lord of the Rings films was released, I watched it with my mum. I loved it so much I read all the books straight away and still then enjoyed the other two films. I also spent much of my young childhood watching the BBC late-1980s/early-90s adaptations of The Chronicles of Narnia, but still love to read the books for the subtlety and wit that CS Lewis gets into his writing. (I can also listen to almost endless repeats of Agatha Christie books on the radio!)
I've got plenty of books to read this year already, but should I make space for Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies too? They sound scary - over 100 characters and most of the important ones appear to be called Thomas (the perils of writing about real historical figures!) - but they also sound amazing. What do you think? Do you read first or watch first? And will you be watching along this spring?