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My Epic Read-a-Thon of ‘A Game of Thrones’

My Epic Read-a-Thon of ‘A Game of Thrones’ post image

It was Sunday morning. Boyfriend was still on the road, driving back from a camping trip in California. I had almost an entire free day ahead of me. Any guesses what I decided to do?

Read, of course.

I’d been plodding along in George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones for what felt like forever. Because I had the book on my Nook, I usually “saved” reading it for when I was at the gym or otherwise not able to easily read print books. I hadn’t been to the gym in the couple weeks leading up to our move, and still hadn’t signed up for a new gym membership. Hence, A Game of Thrones sat, unread, for weeks.

Then Trisha (eclectic / eccentric) posted about her progress with the book and I thought to myself, “Self… you should get back to that book!”

And so I did.

I started around 11 a.m. on page 116 of 788. It took me until 11:30 that night (due to a long break for lunch with a friend and some chatting with Boyfriend when he arrived home), but I finished the book that day. It was an epic day of epic fantasy.

There were a lot of things I admired and enjoyed about the book, once I got into the writing and the sort of awkward, fantasy-ness feel of it faded to the background. Martin does a truly amazing job of building a complete fantasy world without it ever really feeling like he’s doing the boring world-building part of a fantasy book. In some instances, that makes characters easy to forget — I can’t tell you how many times I had to hop on Wikipedia and be reminded who the Greyjoys were — but, on the whole, it keeps the book moving (important when you’re dealing with that many pages).

I also loved the way he was able to subtly shift my feelings for characters as the story developed. I started out really disliking Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf brother of Queen Cersei. He was rude, crude, and just unpleasant. But somewhere along the line — I’m not even sure where — his sarcasm and wit started to grow on me. I think as the family dynamics of the Lannister’s started to be explored, he starts to be the most likable of the bunch. But, this could definitely change, as characters never really stay all good or all bad. Well, most of them anyway.

And while I don’t want to say anything to spoil the ending, I admired the way Martin was able to give this book a strong sense of closure while still setting up the conflict and intrigue for the second book. It was the kind of ending that left me curious about what was going to happen next, but not such a cliff-hanger that I had to pick up the second book immediately. I did buy the ebook before I went to bed so it would be there when I wanted it, but felt ok waiting just a bit first.

At this point, I’m debating when to read the second book, since I’ll definitely be continuing with the series. Part of me wants to make it my new gym read, but I also liked the experience of settling in with a book over an entire day. The Read-a-Thon is coming up soon, so maybe I’ll set it for another long day of reading.

Have you found certain books or types of books are better with sustained reading rather than reading in bits and pieces? What books of epic length have you sat down and read straight through?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Fyrefly October 10, 2011, 7:19 am

    Wow! I love this series, but I don’t think I could read a whole one of these books in a single go. Partly because my attention span’s just not that long (although I agree that it is really easy to get so involved with these books that you lose track of time), but mostly because there’s so *much* – particularly so much awful stuff happening to characters I like – that I’d need a break.

    Glad you enjoyed it, though! Epic fantasy for everyone! 😀

    • Kim October 16, 2011, 10:41 am

      Yeah, lots of bad things did happen. I think I mini spoiled myself enough to dull the pain because I kept going on Wikipedia to remind me who people were and kept seeing who would die… oops.

  • Heather J. October 10, 2011, 7:32 am

    Sounds like a wonderful day of reading! I do something similar whenever a new Wheel of Time book comes out. 🙂

    I’m looking forward to starting Game of Thrones soon. I watched and loved the HBO series already. My plan is to just read Book 1 for now, then move on to book two after watching season 2 on HBO. Are you planning to watch the series?

    • Kim October 16, 2011, 10:41 am

      I do want to watch the series, but I have to wait until it comes out on DVD. I haven’t seen a release date for it yet, which is frustrating!

  • Trisha October 10, 2011, 8:01 am

    I’m glad I inspired you! That’s so nice to hear.

    I’ve been toying with the idea of making the second in the series my main readathon book, but usually I choose a whole bunch of shorter ones….. We’ll see.

    And ditto to your feelings about Tyrion!

    • Kim October 16, 2011, 10:42 am

      I’ve done mostly a lot of short books for read-a-thon, which seems to be the norm. I think someone I read regularly did one long book last year, but I can’t remember who.

  • Steph October 10, 2011, 8:42 am

    Obviously I’ve heard of this one and intrigued, but I keep hearing how painful the wait between volumes is (and I remember that from Harry Potter as well!), so as much as I want to give this a try, I also think I might just be better off saving it until the entire series is out.

    I rarely have the time to read anything in a day anymore… Pretty much the only way that ever happens is if the book is really short OR if the writing is fairly breezy and easy. For instance, I can read an Agatha Christie novel quite easily in a day, and same goes for romance novels as well. I guess the writing isn’t very complicated and it’s all plot driven so they move pretty quickly!

    • Kim October 16, 2011, 10:43 am

      OH yes, the waiting with Harry Potter! It was torturous! I don’t get to read a book in a day much anymore either, except for books like the kind you mention… but I don’t read those often enough.

  • bermudaonion (Kathy) October 10, 2011, 11:48 am

    I definitely think sustained reading helps with certain books. I’m reading Cutting for Stone in snatches right now and it’s not really coming together for me yet, but I know it’s an amazing book. This week is crazy for me, so I don’t know when I’ll have a lot of time to sit down with it.

    • Kim October 16, 2011, 10:44 am

      Some books it just works better to dive in and do some sustained reading rather than in snatches. I’m not sure what kind of book exactly… it just seems to depend.

  • Jeanne October 10, 2011, 11:54 am

    I found that I particularly needed some sustained reading time for Nick Harkaway’s The Gone-Away World–one of my very favorite books–and for Neal Stephenson’s Anathem. I’ve been suspecting this one would benefit from that, since it’s been sitting half-read on my nightstand for a couple of months now. I’ll have to try it. Sometime when I can make time.

    • Kim October 16, 2011, 10:45 am

      That’s probably a good marker — books that you’re enjoying, but that seem to sit unread for longer than makes sense.

  • Ben Wheeler-Floyd October 10, 2011, 4:06 pm

    I’m so glad you liked it!

    • Kim October 16, 2011, 10:45 am

      Me too!

  • Jenny October 10, 2011, 5:21 pm

    I think most (plot-driven) books benefit from sitting down and reading all the way through — it’s so much easier, that way, to remember all the plot elements and appreciate the way the author’s setting everything up etc. An epic read can be especially satisfying this way though! I miss sitting down and reading things straight through. I do all my reading on the subway these days…

    • Kim October 16, 2011, 10:46 am

      That makes sense — you have to keep the plot in your head to know what’s going on, and reading in little pieces can make that really hard. I don’t read as many plot-driven books these days, so maybe that’s part of why I don’t do it very often.

  • Aths October 10, 2011, 8:31 pm

    I’m impressed! My copy just came in three days ago, and I have no clue when I will or can read it. I may also need to do a readathon to read this one. Glad you liked the ending – I like those kind of endings too. I don’t want to start the next book right away, but I also want to feel like I want to read it soon.

    • Kim October 16, 2011, 10:47 am

      It was fun to read-a-thon unexpectedly, especially because when I did it the weather was still nice so I got to spend part of the day reading outside.

  • BuriedInPrint October 17, 2011, 3:59 pm

    Just think…a week of that and you’d be done all the volumes in the series (and even have squeezed some non-fiction in too). Heh. I’m getting close to reading this one, too, so I’ll keep in mind that a burst of it wouldn’t be poorly placed; it sounds quite satisfying that way, really.

    • Kim October 18, 2011, 6:41 pm

      Oh man, I don’t think I could do that! My brain was mushy after finishing this one.