Imagine a life where you have almost nothing to do other than spend time in a small cell, walk around a yard or recreation area, and maybe work a menial job that pays literal pennies. Now imagine living that life for years on end. Would you want to try and find a good book to read, to alleviate what one expects is an unbearable amount of downtime? According to the Canberra Times, that’s exactly what the male and female inmates at the Alexander Maconochie Centre (ACT), a minimum to maximum security prison and remand centre in Australia, have done.
According to its report, in 2015, books from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series were among the most-requested works from the Hume library at ACT, which houses approximately 5,000 books. The same was true of last year.
"The blood, power struggles and romance that fill George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones books, which inspired the hugely popular television series, were also sought-after."
It’s not just Martin’s works that have enthralled the inmates at ACT. Fantasy fiction in general is very popular among the hundreds inmates who call the prison home. The Painted Man by author Peter V. Brett, which is the first book in his The Demon Cycle series, was also a top pick. The book features blood-thirsty demons who rise at night to feed on the living…so there’s that.
This really puts the waiting for The Winds of Winter into perspective. I’ve often complained that the wait between George R.R. Martin’s books is frustrating, but if I literally had almost nothing to do but wait for it, it would seem like an eternity.