There is a lot of interest these days in the classical novels in the media and on tv. With the screening of the new film "Becoming Jane", Jane being Jane Austen, even more so.
I have fallen in to that same trap myself. Having seen most of them on video or tv and read many of the books years ago, I thought I would like to read them all again some time. To this end I ordered and received the beginning of a new collection for my library. Each novel in this collection has an accampanying DVD. The films are modern adaptions. What shall I do first, read the books or watch the films? Usually I prefer to watch the film before reading the book. If I read the book first then I find the film disappointing as it is not usually possible to convey all the details of a book onto film. The only draw back to this is remembering the film setting when reading rather than relying on one's own imagination.
Two books that stand out in my mind where I was disappointed seeing the film after reading the book, were Chocolate and Captain Correlli's Mandolin. This latter one could harldy been seen as the same story. There was just so much in the book and so little in the film. As for Chocolate, the film was in many ways so unlike the book and I understand this was because of not wanting any insensitivity towards the Roman Catholic Church. The "baddie" in the book being a priest, but in the film the Mayor. So just some more to add to my list of books and films waiting to be read and watched.