May 09, 2011 at 09:21 PM EDT

I have a shameful confession to make, PopWatchers: I only just read The Hunger Games for the first time a few weeks ago. If you’ve found it in your hearts to forgive me for this major pop culture blunder, I’ll continue.

After months of endless urging from friends and colleagues that I would love these books (they were, as per usual, right) I finally read them. A funny thing though, I read the books — in record time, I might add — right before all the major casting news about the feature film adaptation broke, when all the casting rumors were still running rampant. 

In fact, just as I was getting familiar with Katniss Everdeen, Oscar-nominee Hailee Steinfeld was one of the top names being thrown around to play the part of the heroine. I immediately changed my image of how Katniss looked in my mind to Hailee, which no doubt hindered my interpretation of the book and the character (Katniss all of a sudden had a True Grit-like accent). Alas, Hailee did not get cast, and my visualization was blown to bits worse than some poor souls in the Reaping.

But ever since the casting of Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss), Liam Hemsworth (Gale), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta), the scads of district kids, and most recently, Stanley Tucci as the showy interviewer Caesar Flickerman, I’ve felt the urge to read the books again — though I definitely plan to wait until I see who will play Haymitch. I’m curious if the book will read differently to me while I imagine Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket or Wes Bentley as Seneca Crane. Or perhaps, the characters will look and feel exactly the same as I did the first time I dove into the violent, yet dangerously addictive world that is The Hunger Games.

But what about you, PopWatchers? Will you re-read The Hunger Games when casting is complete? Or does the casting have no effect on how you envision(ed) the characters?

Read more:

‘Hunger Games’ Central

Stanley Tucci cast in ‘The Hunger Games’

‘Hunger Games’: Wes Bentley is Seneca Crane

‘Hunger Games’: Meet the Cast!

Complete Coverage

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