Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Clash of Kings - by George R. R. Martin

So now that I have read two books in the "Song of Ice and Fire" series, I can honestly say I gave it a good effort, and I officially don't like this story. Although when I blogged about A Game of Thrones I said I would read the rest (if only because I'd already bought and paid for them) I have, nevertheless, decided that I am done. I would be remiss, however, if I didn't point out the reverence with which books, and reading, are treated in this work.

Librarian Samwell makes a brief appearance at the beginning of the book as he shifts through his collection looking for maps. He admonishes Jon to "be gentle" with the books, and, like a true librarian, wishes very much to catalog it all
There's more maps. If I had time to search...everything's a jumble. I could set it all to order, though; I know I could, but it would take time...well, years in truth.
Samwell also understands, as Jon does not, the importance of preserving and archiving information. While Jon believes only silver and gold can be treasures, Samwell knows that information is also valuable
You can learn so much from ledgers...truly you can. It can tell you how may men were in the Night's Watch then, how they lived, what they ate...
Most librarians can tell you how simply frustrating it can be to work with people who do not understand the thrill of finding the tidbit of information we seek, and how much we love finding the right way to organize things so that information is discover-able.

Tyrion expresses the joy of reading for pleasure when he asks his favorite "wench" at the brothel what she does while he is gone. She answers "sleep" but adds that she is being taught to read so that she "will be able to pass the time with a book." Tyrion concurs that "[s]leep is good...And books are better."


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