Well, since we’re over halfway through August I thought it was high time to share my progress in the #readasoiaf readalong challenge.
For those unaware, I’ve been meaning to read George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series for years at this point and, whilst I was at university, the TV show blew up in a huge way and it seemed like I was the only one not watching it. (It’s kind of a running joke between me and one of my ex-housemates that I still haven’t “caught up” yet with the TV show, despite numerous occasions and plenty of time to do so.) Whilst I really want to watch the TV show (and I have a boxset of the first 4 seasons to get me going) I also feel like everyone ever says they will read the series at some point. I was one of those people… until I realised that if I didn’t just commit to the challenge, I would never actually get round to it. So, enter the #readasoiaf readalong, which came at the perfect time for me.
The concept is simple. Read a book a month, until October. It started back in June with Game of Thrones, then came A Clash of Kings in July, and in August we’re reading A Storm of Swords before we’ll move onto A Feast for Crows in September and A Dance with Dragons in October.
Now, when you realise that, for paperback publication reasons or maybe just money (depending how cynical we’re choosing to be), both A Storm of Swords and A Dance with Dragons were deemed too large for one volume and were split into two… well, that’s when you realise just how much of a challenge this challenge actually is. I wouldn’t say I’m a slow reader, but I wouldn’t say I’m particularly speedy either; with me, consistency is key and I decided to take up Kayla’s offer of a handy chart to mark off each chapter I read as a form of motivation. I’m pleased to report that that, combined with working out how many pages I need to read a day, has been working really well for me. I think the progress tracker in particular is a great idea because it’s really nice to be able to visually see yourself making progress through a tome. (Maybe I should try this tactic with the likes of Anna Karenina?) Now I’m about halfway through the challenge I really feel like I will stick with it to the bitter end since it would be a shame to waste all this progress, only to have to re-read all these pages again to pick up the series at a later date.
Looking back on how it has gone so far, June and July were quite successful for me, but I can’t help but think that probably had something to do with the fact I was just re-reading the first two books in the series since I’d tried to read the series myself last year. So, I do wonder how much I really took in of Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings and how much I just skimmed, since I vaguely remembered the storylines from the last time I read them. At my last attempt, however, I sacked it off somewhere around the 200 page mark of A Storm of Swords: Part One so I’ve officially got further than I did last time! And any progress is good progress, right? At the time of writing I’ve just finished Part One of A Storm of Swords and I’m giving myself a weekend’s break before tackling Part Two. As you can see from my scribbled calculations above, I seem to be just about on track… ok, maybe a day behind, but I have train journeys coming up so I fully intend to catch up next week, I swear!
As far as the storylines go – I still love the plottings and backstabbings at King’s Landing. I’m less than endeared by Bran’s storyline (nothing changes there) and I’m starting to find Catelyn really quite boring. Sorry Starks! Arya and Sansa are still golden though, more from them, please! Who else? Well, I hate Theon, always have, always will, I’d bet money on it. The Lannisters are still my favourites – they don’t pretend to be anything but despicable human beings, and I’ve predictably always had a bit of a soft spot for Jaime (the addition of Brienne might be my favourite thing ever) and who doesn’t have an appreciation of Tyrion’s wit? A couple of surprise favourites for me are Stannis and Davos – I don’t know why, I really don’t, but I find myself really looking forward to chapters involving them. Jon Snow’s storyline is getting pretty um… interesting, to say the least. Remember those vows? No? Ok, you do you, Jon Snow. And that, my friends, seems like an excellent note on which to end this post.
Are you participating in the #readasoiaf readalong? Would you be interested in participating in such a thing? Or maybe you’ve conquered the A Song of Ice and Fire series already?