I’ve always been a reader for as far back as I can remember. Give me a book, and I’ll read and understand it. I’ve also always been competitive either with others or with myself, trying to beat personal intellectual bests. I’ve always been a person who enjoys reading the book first and seeing the movie second. However when I started watching Game of Thrones on HBO, I enjoyed it though I had never read A Song of Ice and Fire series. I hadn’t even heard of this series until the show gained popularity. I just don’t usually enjoy fantasy novels. Because of this lack of reading, things kept getting spoiled for me just by going on Facebook. I knew what was going to happen at The Red Wedding and The Purple Wedding. I’m not a person who enjoys spoilers or can just ignore them like my husband. Any spoiler I saw infuriated me. It was time to take action.
I borrowed the first two books in the series from my friend. Most of my friends had read the series (five books at this point), and I was determined to read them, too. I had to be on top of what was going on in the series, and to be honest, it bugged me that I hadn’t read them because so many others had. The competitive reader was armed with a purpose.
I cracked open the first book and read. After a few pages, I hit a brick wall. Hard. I wasn’t enjoying the book. It was too convoluted for my taste. I realized that a few pages weren’t really enough of a go at the book to make any decisions, but I had to take a break. I started thinking about why I wanted to read the book. 1) I wanted to know what was going to happen in the HBOseries. I was impatient. However, the HBO series is now working with the third and fourth books. I would have to power through the first two books, with most of the situations already known, before I started to encounter any meaty new material. 2) I wanted to read what so many of my friends had already read. The books didn’t sound interesting when other people explained it to me, but I didn’t want to be left behind. My competitiveness was rearing its ugly head.
And that was it. The only two reasons I had for reading the series were not good ones. Reading a book in which I already know what happens is pointless (at least to me). It’s a lot easier to just watch the fifty-minute program even if I know who is going to die or whatnot. I usually don’t know the details of any big spoilers so it’s fun to watch them play out. And for me, taking a break from GOT to catch up with the books is not an option. It is my television heroine, and I need my fix every week. In addition, I have 366 books on my to-read list, and this doesn’t include A Song of Ice and Fire series. Why was I wasting my time on a series that I honestly wasn’t interested in just to be able to say I read it? It was ridiculous, and I was letting my competitive nature drive me instead of me using my competitiveness. I’d rather be reading one of the 366 books that I put on my list for interest’s sake than be reading a book that bored me.
I had learned a lesson in all of this. I shouldn’t let myself be consumed by competition, and I shouldn’t be stuck doing something (especially with no true reward like a paycheck or even a cleaner house) that I didn’t enjoy doing. I’m glad other people love these books and have read them multiple times because of their love for them; I really respect these people who can power through and find enjoyment within the pages. I am just not one of them, and there’s a reason why there are so many genres out there. I’ll pick a different book to read while I await Sunday night.