I have a books queue.

I try to keep it down to something manageable. I took a long, hard look at the shelf last year, as there is no sensible way that the number of books I have that I intend to read can be called anything as small and messy as a pile, and had paired it down to a manageable 25 books. That’s the number of books I can comfortably get through in about half a year’s time. This would allow me to catch up, and get to start buying new books as they come out. (I know, bizarre concept.)

When I did another headcount the other day, I discovered I had let my book buying run wild again. Between the shelf of physical books and the unexpected number of ebooks I’ve picked up for both Kindle and Kobo, I find myself sitting at around 65, and with none of the titles released in the last year or so that I’m really damn excited about. Nor does it take into account the books just out or are about to be out that I’m also really excited about.

One of these books is A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin.

[insert happy Kermit-flailing here.]

I’d put off reading it right away for most of the reasons above as well as being pretty secure in the knowledge that the next one would not be out any time soon. I think I was spoiled on a major plot point last year when the book first came out, though, a grump-inducing spoiler that I’ve tried to forget. And then yesterday, while minding my own lurker business on a message board I’m subscribed to — WHAM — another big spoiler. Both involve major character deaths; both are ones I will be unhappy about. I would have loved to have read them fresh, and possibly with copious tissues and/or a pillow to scream in to. This is the tortured joy of being a fan of a Game of Thrones. You don’t want these characters to die, but sometimes they simply must.

So, it’s jumping the queue. Can’t have another piece of it spoiled. Soon as I am finished Karl Schroeder’s Virga: Cities of Air, Mr. Martin will be holding my eyeballs hostage like a Stark daughter for the next several weeks. (In a silks and beatings sort of way.)


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