At DrDeth’s request, a poll. One poster contents that 90% of Game of Thrones viewers are not book readers, and another figures the non-reader figure is less than 50%.
Let’s see, shall we? How many of the Songs of Fire and Ice books have you read?
For some of us there is rounding required. I gave up 180 pages into DwD, so I’m rounding down to 4 books. If you read 3/4th of one, you can round up if you’d like to.
Just show viewers, please: if you have read books but not watched the show, feel free to note that in a post but there are no poll options for that because that’s outside the hypothesis being tested.
I would suggest that the poll will be biased simply because most people who care a lot about the source material (show or books) are more likely to bother to post in this poll, and also more likely to have read the books. Self-selecting polls are unreliable. Furthermore, what purpose does it serve? “Only 49% of people who responded to the poll haven’t read the books - therefore having a thread without spoilers for them to discuss it isn’t justified, so fuck them”?
Well in any case, I said 90% of the people who watched the show (not on the boards) haven’t read the books, so this poll isn’t going to disprove what I said. It was against claims that I was somehow carving out a very esoteric, odd niche by suggesting there be a thread just for people who watch the TV and don’t watch the books, as if that were as obscure as saying “ok you can talk about all the books, except anything contained on a page ending in 8”
Out of interest I thought I’d try and figure out some numbers for viewership and booksales.
Wikipedia’s gives Neilson figures for the series of 2.51 million here. I think this is the average for the first run of the series in the US. HBO reported an average of 9.3 million viewers per episode including on demand viewershere. This doesn’t include those who watched the series repeat screenings, DVD’s and other sources. DVD and Blu-ray sales were strong, with over 350,000 in the first week.
Book sales figures are a bit murkier, but it looks like around 6 million copies of A Dance with Dragonshave been sold in North America. This includes Canada and Mexico but doesn’t include readers who borrowed the book from libraries etc.
I can’t think of any way to measure the overlap between the two but at first glance it looks like more people have watched the series than read book 5. If we assume everyone whose bought book 5 (6 million) have watched the series (out of a total of 9.3 million) it looks like there’s about 3.3 million North Americans who’ve watched the series without buying book 5.
Based on these figures my estimate is around 30-50% of the series viewers aren’t book readers. Obviously this is a very rough estimate based on wild assumptions and all the rest.
I chose “I haven’t read any of the books” because until a week ago, I hadn’t. Then I started reading Game of Thrones. I’m about sixty pages in.
I think the Dope is a bad place for this poll because it has an unusually high percentage of (1) fans of fantasy fiction and (2) people who enjoy reading very long slowgoing books. I mean, I have a bachelor’s degree in Victorian triple-deckers, and I find Game of Thrones a particularly difficult slog.
Indeed, Sattua, you are correct. I would expect the SDMB to have a much higher % of readers than many other boards.
That was exactly my point.
Lisiate, from wiki I find there’s been more than 15 million copies sold. I think that could be total for all books, tho. But in any case, with 6 mill sold and 2.5 mill watching that makes twice as many readers than watchers, doesn’t it?
Nitpick: The name of the book series is A Song of Ice and Fire.
I haven’t yet read A Dance with Dragons, but I read all the others between the end of HBO’s first season and the beginning of the second. Which makes it really hard to read the non-spoiler thread here, as I have to resist responding to speculation about the characters’ future. (Yes, I know the TV series has and will necessarily depart from the book series, but the showrunners are on record as saying they want to keep it as close as possible, so I believe the broad strokes will remain unchanged.)
Surely some of those people are repeat viewers, though. I didn’t rewatch GoT, but I watched every season 3 episode of True Blood and every episode of Haven thus far twice each while they were still on TV as the week’s new episode, and there are a lot more people really into GoT than either of those series.
Yes, a lot of the 9.3 million were probably repeat viewers. But then again how many watched the series through unofficial channels? So I just went with the raw figure without trying to make an adjustment.
Oh and the Wall Street Journal articles gives a peak figure of 13 million for True Blood (series 3) so I’m not sure you can say that Game of Thrones is far more popular.
I watched the first series of the TV show before I had read any of the books. I tend to avoid unfinished book series, but after I watched the show I went out and read the first two books. I am on the waiting list for the third book at the library. I had to cancel my HBO, so I’m not watching the second season right now.
Sales must be higher than that as the 15 million figure predates A Dance with Dragons. But its a figure made up of the first four books, so I went with just sales of the fifth book for my (very tentative) estimate of total readership.
At the end of the day I guess all we can say with any confidence is that viewership and readership numbers are within the same order of magnitude, and saying things like “90% of viewers haven’t read the books” is almost certainly wrong.
OK, I concede your points, I guess exact figures will be hard to come up with.
So far, I don;t know anyone who is watching the series who has not read at least most of the books. Altho I do know of two friends who had the series on the TBD list but when they saw the first HBO series they immediately went out and read the books.