Dear Game of Thrones, I want my life back

I’m five years late to the Game of Thrones series. (Also, I recently watched this amazing series called Breaking Bad. Heard of it?) Since discovering the GOT books late last year, it has consumed my life.

My first GOT experience was with the audible book. George R.R. Martin’s first book Game of Thrones read by Roy Dotrice comes in at 34 hours long. That may seem long until you consider the 3rd book which is 48 hours long. I’m currently eleven hours into book 4 of the series, A Feast of Crows. Add it all up and I’ve spent 130 hours or 5.5 days listening to Game of Thrones books.

I listened on my five minute commute to work, while I showered, while I mowed the lawn, while flying, and while I drove to speaking engagements all over the country. And sometimes I even laid in bed at night with my earbuds in lost in Westeros.

Over the past three months I started the HBO Series and last week finished the most recent season, season 5. The series so far is 50 episodes, or 50 hours long. That brings my total GOT time since the first of the year to 180 hours.

I’ve committed more than a week of my life to The Game of Thrones, and now I want my life back.

Typically I mix up my reading selection. I write nonfiction, so I have to read a lot of boring nonfictions books, but some good ones. I mix in some contemporary fiction and some science fiction and fantasy. But GOT cut the head off that balance and mounted it on a spike. The series has dominated my reading time like a white walker dominates a wildling in a fight.

I stopped reading anything but Game of Thrones. I stopped listening to podcasts and NPR. And sometimes when I popped my earbuds out I struggled to pull my head out of Westeros.

I would read nothing but science fiction, fantasy, and zombie books, if I felt like it wouldn’t bring a screeching halt to my career. To me these books are like donuts. I love them. I could eat them everyday, but if I do so, I’m jeopardizing exposing myself to the realities of the world I actually live in. Sometimes science fiction and fantasy can say more about our world than a work of nonfiction, but it is important for me to stay in touch with actual events happening in real time.

A few months ago someone asked me about some news event. I’m pretty good at keeping up on things through the New York Times, the Muncie newspaper, and online, but here was my answer: “I don’t know much about that. I’ve been reading Game of Thrones.” And then as he told me whatever bad news it was I had to fight from saying, “Winter is coming!”

So Game of Thrones audible books, I’m quitting you! I’ve decided to only watch the series now as it comes out episode by episode.

Yesterday I watched HBO’s Vice about the Cold War 2.0, listened to my favorite NPR podcast while I mowed, and played with the kids.

Bit by bit I’m getting my life back and I’m living in 2015 in Muncie, Indiana, which is a good thing because if I actually lived in Martin’s Westeros, he would’ve probably killed me off by now.


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