From my experience, fanfictions and books have a lot in common—THEY'RE BOTH MADE UP OF 26 LETTERS POSITIONED IN A CERTAIN FORMATION TO MAKE WORDS AND SENTENCES—but there are just as many differences.
Fanfictions make my inner (and outer) fangirl SUPER HAPPY or really sad. Books do that, too. They both make you FEEL THINGS, whether good or bad. (AN: The Book Thief made me cry so hard.)
Some books DEFINITELY have their stagnant points, and fanfictions are the same way. Sometimes, you just have to take a chapter to explain things, or let a certain character have some time to tell his story. It sucks, I know, buT IT'S WORTH IT TO GET TO THE GOOD PARTS.
FICTIONAL CHARACTER LOVE. Fanfictions and books alike have characters that you can't help but love (or hate, or love-hate). *Fanfiction does have the higher ground here, since you can see the same characters in SO many different situations of YOUR OWN (or someone else's) making.
Again, fanfictions one-up books with ADMIRER IMAGINATION. If you raged at the death of a character(s), BOOM, you can resurrect them with YOUR imagination and YOUR plot! Didn't like who that one character ended up with? BAM, they can be with ANYONE YOU WANT. It's so much fun to twist a plot to meet your needs. But with great power, comes great responsibility.
Books rise again with these unfortunate facts about some (but not all) fanfictions: the grammar could be bad, the plot could be overused, the characters you're in love with could be characterized SO differently than the book that you start to hate them, and THE AUTHOR COULD TAKE FOREVER TO UPDATE. It's hard to find a fanfiction that has all the good stuff, but it's not impossible. But books are right there for your reading pleasure—totally completed, with grammar and plot that's been painstakingly reviewed by a professional editor.
Fanfictions and books are on this never-ending cycle of feeding off of one another to obtain popularity. Let me give an example: Twilight was a book that many people liked, which made many people write fanfictions about it, which made a certain fanfiction popular, which made it turn into a best-selling book (that I don't approve of, but that's just me) that many people loved/hated, which people write fanfictions about.
One thing that will always be true with both fanfictions and books is that some people will love them, and some people will hate them. Hecklers are everywhere, but there are just as many people out there that want to see the story continue.
Or, if you don't like reading in general, WATCH THE MOVIE. Do what makes YOU happy.
OK, I think I'm done. That's all I have to say... This was so much longer than I planned, but oh well! Which do YOU prefer: fanfictions, books, or movies? What do YOU like to read/watch?