I watched all six seasons of Game of Thrones on HBO in two weeks right before finals started.
It was amazing, addictive, and every line was so precisely crafted. I knew they were books first, but everyone told me the books would spoil the surprise of the show. I went against my better judgement and watched the show first.
I’m actually glad that I did. For one, there are tons of characters and it’s hard to keep them all straight. I didn’t have any problems forgetting who people were because I watched it in 14 days and I could see everyone’s faces. I would surely have been more lost if I had tried to read the books first. Also, I will not remember something if I can’t pronounce it. It’s a stupid thing, but it only gets truer as I get older. I could never remember the name or structure of argininosuccinate until I could pronounce it, and I would never be able to remember who Aerys Targaryen was if I couldn’t pronounce his name. It’s actually my least favorite thing about reading: not knowing how the author intends me to pronounce something. I read a trilogy by Jenny Han and pronounced the main character’s name Lara Jean as Laura, but in the third book she gets mad when someone pronounces it as Laura and I still don’t know how to say it correctly. Layra? Lahra? I think I say Laura like Lahra so maybe I was saying it right.
Anyways, I borrowed A Game of Thrones from Travis. I was expecting it to be good, but I am blown away. Even though I already know the plot, I am enthralled. The character development is so strong that I feel as though I know the characters better after 200 pages than I did after 6 seasons! I’m not even halfway through the first book and I can’t get enough.
The quality of his writing is top notch. I read my fair share of impressive literature, but rarely do those pieces hook their claws into me and refuse to let me go. I also read my fair share of terrible writing, from Harry Potter fanfic to 50 Shades, but I can recognize them as poor character development, sentence structure, and clarity. It is rare to find a well written book that still manages to capture my full attention.
I borrowed this book from Travis, but I bought my own set of all five books when I was only 50 pages in. I knew I would love them and I knew I had to have them to reread as much as I wanted. It’s painful to not be able to underline and highlight quotes in Travis’s copy.
I know what you’re thinking: How in the world can this girl profess to love books and yet mutilate them?? But when you read and reread books, it’s nice to know what words have an especially thick meaning. What if I just wanted to read Goblet of Fire and skip the first 3 books? I have well placed underlines from my countless times reading it to remember exactly why that joke was funny or what the symbolism of Cedric’s last words being “Wands out, you reckon?” in the books but “Who are you? What do you want?” in the films. I have his lasts words underlined and the lines from the movie scrawled in the margins so I can’t forget.
And if you’re one of those people who thinks they can remember everything, or at least everything about their favorite books, listen to this: my Harry Potter books are littered with the markings of me throughout my life. From when I was reading each book for the first time to the summer I read a book and watched a movie every day for seven days I have marked my books every time. And every time I’ve found different words important to me. There are the words that everyone thinks are important, but when you read something at 12 and again at 21, you see it in a different light. I have a record of the past.
My copy of Prisoner of Askaban is so tattered that my mom tried to throw it away in the last move. There was no way I’d let her. It’s only tattered because I carried it around everywhere. It’s a hardback and when you open it up an entire middle chunk of the book falls out because the binding glue just doesn’t hold anymore. Many pages are wet from God only knows what and there’s grains of sand from all the times I’ve read it on a beach.
A lot of my books are ragged around the edges. They are tossed into purses and backpacks and taken around the world. I can never seem to keep track of a book mark, so I dog ear the pages. Don’t worry I would never fold someone else’s book or a library book, but to me it’s just another record of where I’ve been. It’s always telling if I let someone borrow one of my treasured books. Not only am I trusting them to give it back, but I am trusting them with all the insight my markings give to my personality. I don’t think I have ever let someone else read one of my Harry Potter books. It would be too telling.
Anyways, I need my own set of A Song of Fire and Ice books and I need them now. I have a list of pages to revisit to underline something important, but I know I would be doing much more if I was in the moment. The first read is critical.
This post really strayed from its original purpose, which was to tell everyone to read Game of Thrones and watch the show so I can have more people to discuss it with. Travis is great, but he’s a know it all. I need someone else. If you’d like to borrow the book, you can use Travis’s copy 😉