by Jim Lynch

iBooks: Are the enhanced Game of Thrones books worth buying?

Jan 04, 2017
Consumer ElectronicsiOSMacOS

Apple now offers enhanced versions of the Game of Thrones books in the iBooks store, but are they worth buying?

Game of Thrones has proven to be one of the most popular book series ever written. It has also become a huge ratings draw on TV via the HBO series. Millions of people love venturing into the dangerous world of Westeros to encounter dragons, vicious battles for power, and many unexpected twists and turns.

Apple recently welcomed enhanced versions of the Game of Thrones books into the iBooks store. These books differ from previous releases by including interactive maps, author notes, illustrations, family trees and glossaries.

Here’s author George R.R. Martin discussing the books in a video released by Apple:

All five of the the Game of Thrones books are available in these enhanced editions:

A Game of Thrones ($8.99)

A Clash of Kings ($11.99)

A Storm of Swords ($11.99)

A Feast for Crows ($11.99)

A Dance with Dragons ($11.99)

Are the enhanced Game of Thrones books worth buying?

I’ve read all of the Game of Thrones books a number of times in Kindle format, and I also have the Audible versions of the books. It’s a great series, and each time I’ve read them I’ve found things that I missed in previous readings.

So I was quite interested in checking out these enhanced editions. I downloaded the samples from the iBooks store, and I was quite impressed with the formatting and illustrations that I saw in the books. The publisher did a great job in adding value by including these and other new features in the books.

But I decided not to buy the enhanced versions in iBooks.

I made this decision partly based on the fact that I’m very familiar with the story so I’d have to really be in the mood to do a full reread of the books again. It’ll probably be another year or so before I decide to read them again.

iBooks was the other reason I didn’t buy the books. Unfortunately, the enhanced versions of the Game of Thrones books are only available in iBooks right now. You cannot purchase them in the Kindle store, or any other ebook store.

I settled on Kindle and Audible as my sources for books quite a long time ago. The iBooks store can’t match the selection of books in the Kindle store, nor does it offer anything to compare with WhisperSync, which lets me switch back and forth between the Kindle and Audible versions of a book.

However, even though I opted not to buy the books, I still think they are worth buying for folks new to the series or those who want to acquire a nifty new version of the books. A lot of effort was put into creating these enhanced books, and I think some readers will be delighted with them.

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The illustrations definitely add to the experience since they are gorgeous, and make it easier to visualize what certain characters look like. It’s also great to be able to click the name of a character and get a summary of who they are and why they matter to the story.

I will definitely consider buying them if they ever get released in the Kindle store, and include syncing with the Audible versions of the books. It’s rather a shame that the books were only released for iBooks since not everybody gets their books from Apple’s store.

If you aren’t sure about buying the enhanced versions of the Game of Thrones books, just click the links I included at the beginning of this post. Then download the free samples of each book to get a taste of what the books have to offer. If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, you might really enjoy them.

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