Funny story. I’ve been patiently waiting for A Dance with Dragons, the fifth book from George R. R. Martin‘s Song of Ice and Fire series, to come out in paperback. Originally it was scheduled to be published in mid-August. My friends and I anticipated picking it up. But as the date grew near, suddenly the publication date was pushed back to March of next year. Oh no! I had a choice. I could purchase the book in hardback. I could finally break down and get an e-book reader of some sort. Or I could wait until March. I came home from work and explained the situation to Whirl. She said, helpfully, “Oh, I bought that in hardback a long time ago. Read that.” Now I didn’t particularly want to read it in hardback, because it is a very large book. I mean physically. It’s big. It’s a big book. Hauling it around to and from work, or swim practice or on the bus or wherever– it’s just not the sort of volume one thinks of when describing something as portable. It comes in at over three pounds and over a thousand pages. (Incidentally, the other paperback volumes in the series are not particularly smaller in the size department, but every little bit helps, I guess.)

But I didn’t have to worry! Whirl had already purchased it. I would just have to be careful, but I could read it.

A couple days went by and I had become distracted by other things. Eventually I returned to wanting to start A Dance with Dragons. So I looked around the house for it. We have quite a few books around the house, but we’d recently gone through the task of returning them to some semblance of order. Finding this big book shouldn’t have posed a problem for me. But it did. So when Whirl got home I asked here for some assistance. She said, “Oh! You want to read that one? Sure! Just a minute.” And sure enough, a minute later she handed me The Wind Through the Keyhole. “Here you go.”

The Wind Through the Keyhole is the latest novel by Stephen King and is a very recent addendum to his seminal work, The Dark Tower series. Roland is there. Sussanah. Eddie, Jake, Oy. The novel is set between the end of book four, Wizard and Glass, and book five, Wolves of the Calla, and is made up of a story within a story within a story– all tied together by a fantasical weather phenomenon of Mid-World, the starkblast. When Whirl handed me the volume, I rejoined, “Babe, I do really want to read this. But I don’t think this has much to do with Westeros.” She smiled, shrugged her shoulders.

I’m sure I’m not the first reader to notice King’s dramatic presentation House Stark’s words, “Winter is coming” with his starkblast. But that was a realization I made only after a couple hundred pages in.