2014 Reading Challenge

On the Goodreads site is the 2014 Reading Challenge. This particular challenge allows you to select the number of books you want to read. I chose 60 books for this year, which averages out to a little over a week per book. I figured, given my writing and the fact that I homeschool my kids, a book a week (roughly) was a pretty good goal. Plus, generally speaking, I do finish books in a week – usually less.

I failed to consider one thing. Well, it’s not so much that I didn’t consider it, as I didn’t even know about it when I set the challenge. But I picked up the Game of Thrones books (okay, I know they actually have another name, but I can’t remember it right now), and back in August or so, I decided to read them.

I am still reading them. I took a very brief break in October to read a few Christmas books I’d gotten that I needed to review and then another break to read another book I promised to review, but aside from that, I have been reading these books since mid-August. I just started the fifth book Monday.

I have to say…I’m struggling. Everyone raves about the TV series, and since it’s based on the books, I feel like the books should be blowing me away. But they’re not.

It’s not that I think they’re bad – they’re not. I enjoy them. But Martin just seems to go on and on and on and on and…well, you get the picture. He introduces characters that play no real role in the story in great detail, adding so many extra words that are completely unnecessary. He ends a character’s chapter, leaving me breathless with anticipation to know what will happen next, and then doesn’t come back to them for what seems like a gazillion pages, by which point, I’ve forgotten what had me so excited before. Every time I get really into the book because I’m caught up in what’s happening, he drops the thread(s) of what I’m into and picks up something far less intriguing to me and makes me feel let down and bored again.

Yet everyone I know who watches the series raves about how great it is, how wonderful it is and how I just have to watch it. I do intend to watch it, and in fact, have the first season on DVD sitting on my TV stand right now. I plan to start watching it next week (once I’ve had time to get over the ending of Sons of Anarchy). All that raving has led me to one conclusion.

This must be one of those cases where the visual version is far better than the book. I guess I’ll know for sure next week, once I start watching it and can see for myself if all the hype is really called for.

I picked up the book series when Amazon had it on sale for $.99 or something like that – it was too good a deal to pass up, or so I thought at the time. Now that I’ve been reading it, I’m very grateful that I got it so cheap, because it is just not what I thought it would be.

Back to my original point of the post…reading this book series has put me behind in my reading challenge. According to the site, I’m one book behind, but I still have five more books to read before the end of the year. I don’t think I’m going to make it. I have one of those Kindles that checks your reading speed and calculates how long it will take you to read a book based  on that, and it says I still have roughly 24 hours of reading left to finish this book. Given that I only find about an hour, maybe two, a day to read, I don’t see myself finishing this book, and five more before the end of the year.

I haven’t given up yet, but this series has definitely thrown me off schedule. And I’m not entirely convinced yet that it was worth it. Especially when I consider that there’s yet another book after this one, that hasn’t even been released yet. Based on what people have told me, I won’t even have closure when I finish this book.

I have to read two books a week to meet my goal in this challenge (counting the one I’m currently reading). Scratch my last paragraph…I know when to admit defeat. I’m not going to make it. With writing, school, holiday stuff, and slogging through this final book in the series, there’s simply no way I’m going to meet my goal.

Have you read the Game of Thrones series? Watched the show? Done both? If you did both, which did you prefer – books or show? Did you set a reading goal for this year, and if you did, did you or will you meet it?

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