How do you feel about books that are related to movie/television franchises (e.g., movie novelizations and extended universes)?
I have been reading a lot of comics that are supposed to be additional seasons of television shows (e.g., The X-Files and Buffy: The Vampire Slayer), and these comics got me thinking about all of the Star Wars books I read when I was a kid. When I sat down and thought about the number of books that I read that are related to a movie or television franchise I was a bit surprised. I haven't read a lot of books that are directly related to movies or television shows as an adult, but I read a ton of these books as a kid. I read the novelizations of Stars Wars: Episodes IV, V, and VI (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi). In addition, I read a lot of the extended universe books that involved the married life of Princess Leia and Han Solo. Thinking back on the Stars Wars books and on the recent venture into The X-Files and Buffy: The Vampire Slayer comics, I must admit that I generally enjoy these books. There were definitely a few bad apples, but overall, a lot of these stories were fun. I enjoyed imagining my favorite characters from these movies and television shows going on adventures.
Unlike "fan fiction", I believe that The X-Files, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, and the Star Wars books are all considered cannon (i.e., are officially sanctioned by the creators and are supposed to have actually happened to the characters). Although I am all on board for my favorite characters going on new adventures, I have mixed feelings about these books being cannon. I don't consider the books not to be cannon. It is just that I think about them differently. When I think about how the television shows and movies end, I imagine a world of infinite possibilities that are now open for the characters. I don't immediately think of what happens to the characters in the books or comics that continue these stories. I just imagine that the story ends. At the same time, I will read the comic and book continuation of these shows to discover what happens to the characters. I guess that I imagine at the end of the movie/television show that there is a fork. One prong is the comic/book storyline, and another prong is the world of infinite possibilities. I think what I am trying to say is that although I read the comics and books that are extensions of beloved television shows and movies and that are considered to be cannon, I don't see the comics and books as direct and permanently attached extensions of these movies and television shows. I just see these comics and books as one possibility.
So what do you think? How do you feel about books that are related to movie/television franchises (e.g., movie novelizations and extended universes)? Do you read anything you can get your hands on? Do you avoid these things like the plague? Once you read something in the comics or books do you have a hard time separating it from the movies/television shows?