I’m so glad I did this.
Writing down my thoughts as I’m reading proved a really interesting experience. It made me analyzes the book, think about it, much more so than I ever have before. It’s more work, what teachers call “active reading,” but with the right book, it’s a worth-while experience. Especially so when reading one for a second time, specifically looking to get something new, something more out of it.
I never doubted the book would “hold up” on a second read-through. These are great books, a great story, and they always were. It was definitely interesting to try and remember how I felt about A Game of Thrones twelve years ago, when I was a teenager, and compare that to how I feel about it now. I would say that for the most part, I feel the same, but there are some differences.
My feelings about Jon are probably the most marked difference between my first time reading the book and this one. I didn’t see back when I myself was an overly dramatic teenager how obnoxious and self-centered Jon becomes in his last several chapters. Now, obviously he’s mourning his dad, but I forgot all about his “no one ever in the history of all time has felt the feelings that I am feeling right now!” histrionics. I’ll be honest, I remember some of Jon’s plotline, but not much about his personality in the later books. We’ll see how I feel about him when I read on.
I’m pretty sure I hated Catelyn my first time through as much as I hated her this time. I could never get over her treatment of Jon and can’t imagine myself ever doing so. I won’t deny her any of her admirable traits, but I’ll never respect her or like her, and that means I won’t ever really enjoy her chapters the way I enjoy, for example, Tyrion’s.
Ah, Tyrion. I always skipped ahead to his chapters as a teenager, and I’ll happily do so now. I love him and always will.
I was always least interested in Arya from the second book onward, it’ll be interesting to see if her chapters hold my attention any better now. I actually think they will.
I hope I managed to make these entertaining for people as well as an exercise in sticktoitiveness for me. Life got very much in the way by the end, so I actually marathoned the last seven recaps in one day. It’s almost 2 in the morning now and I’ve been working on them for a bit over twelve hours straight, but I did it! I stuck to it until the end and I’m very glad I did.
To anyone curious about the mechanics of book recapping: although I own the first three hard-covers, I found blogging while reading from a book inconvenient, so I bought the ebooks (the first four are bundled together for a cheap price). With Kindle and MS Word side-by-side on a widescreen, writing while reading is pretty simple.
I considered continuing my recap blog with A Clash of Kings, but I’m not sure I want to do all of the books. Besides, Second Time Around is for rereads so I wouldn’t be able to do the whole series anyway. I was thinking of doing a reread blog of another series instead. My candidates are: Max Frei’s The Stranger, it would be a comparison of the original Russian books to the finally released English translations; Tad Williams’s Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy, which I loved when I read it, but I now remember little of the details and particular of the plot; and David Eddings’s The Belgariad, which I read because it was my husband’s favourite and which I remember liking but not being very passionate about. I’m leaning towards The Belgariad, since I always wondered if I missed something because I didn’t love it the way my husband loved it and not as much as I myself loved other books. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to vote for one of the three. I hope you check back when I do start a new reread, whichever it will be.
Thanks again to everyone who read along and remember: valar morghulis.