Let’s do a quick bit of remembering here… the TV series ‘Game of Thrones’ first aired in 2011; in the same year my boyfriend read the entire series of books it is based on, A Song of Ice and Fire; in 2012 I read the first book in the series, A Game of Thrones; later that year we both started watching the TV series. And when did I read the second book, A Clash of Kings? Well. It’s February 2015 and I’m about a hundred pages in. Talk about follow-through. Luckily it’s brilliant, so I’m glad I finally picked it up.
Reading A Clash of Kings has been good for another reason – it appears to have broken my pattern of reading too slowly. The last few books I’ve read, from the end of 2014, have lasted a lot longer than they should have. This was down to a combination of things that I was aware of, including my feelings about those books and the circumstances in which I read them, but it was frustrating nonetheless. I usually read relatively fast, and have done since my degree required me to read at least three books and about a zillion poems a week. So when I read a book slowly, I notice. There is always a reason.
There is also always a reason why I put off reading a book. I have/had put off reading A Clash of Kings until now for many reasons: the conflict with the TV show and its timeline; the length of the book; fear of not enjoying it; and the commitment to the whole series of books (and the ones not yet published). So a lot to consider! As a blogger I also have a fair few books to read for review, and as a general book person I have an awful lot of unread books on my list/shelves/floor, so when I am choosing a book to read, it’s often a question of priorities. If a review book is publishing soon, ideally I want to read and review it before it comes out, and so those books often get pushed to the front of the queue when they are due out soon. There are also the books that I don’t have a deadline for, but that I’m just really keen to read – the ones that look out at you and urge you to open them. At the moment these books are The Blue Tattoo by Margot Mifflin; Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback; Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper; and Tracks by Robyn Davidson. And there are many, many more. But these are at the top of my list, the ones I can remember without looking at my To Read list on GoodReads (currently 135 books long). Having a lot of books to read is really annoying and stressful sometimes, despite also being amazing and exciting. Choices, choices… but my point is that for a long time I was scared to make the choice to dive into A Clash of Kings, to make the leap and just go for it. Silly, isn’t it? So I am very glad that I’ve dived into A Clash of Kings, and luckily I’m really enjoying it. For a 900-odd page book I’m making decent progress too, which is satisfying. The lesson here: stop worrying and just go for it!