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When Game of Thrones started up, a few of my friends wondered aloud on the Internet if they should get a subscription to HBO just to watch it. I had the same impulse at first. I told myself, and my friends, that the DVD box set would be out before too long. Why spend the money when you can just add it to your Netflix queue in a year? Meanwhile, there were the books to read.

The books. I made it sounds so simple, but I knew better. I had read the first three books in 2000, more than a decade ago now. When the fourth came out, five years into that gap, I bought it, but I felt like I should re-read the first three. It had been so long. I had forgotten so much. It’s been longer, still, and I’ve never gotten around to re-reading them, which means the fourth, and now the fifth book, released eleven years to the month, almost, from the time I finished book three, remain bought and unread, as well.

Meanwhile, what I had neglected to consider, in my wait-for-the-DVD-and-get-it-on-Netflix calculation, was the hysterical meltdown of Netflix’s business model and my subsequent cancellation of the DVD portion of their service.

The first-season DVD set is available for pre-order now from Amazon.

And I dunno.

My relationship with this series generally — not just the TV show, but the book series upon which it is based — feels like it has reached a breaking point. I’ve put things off for too long. I either need to a). buy the damn DVDs, read the rest of the books, and continue to follow this story, or b). not.

Complicating matters is the fact that even the book series isn’t complete, and Martin’s lack of perspicacity in getting his books out has become a famous sore point among Internet grousers. While I, of all people, have no standing to complain about an author not getting a book out in a timely manner (George R. R. Martin is totally not my bitch, I get it), I also wonder if I’m willing to recommit myself to this series now, only to have to face the same quandary (feeling like I need to re-read everything — by that time there will be more than five books to re-read) six or seven or ten years down the road, when the story is finished.

I think probably not. Maybe I’ll pick it up then, when I’m seventy, and I can read (and watch) all of it. Something to look forward to in retirement, along with flying cars and subservience to the AI gods.

What are you gonna do?

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