Personally, I've been reading the series from the get-go, but have a love-hate relationship with it.
Game of Thrones itself drew me in, and taught me many things about the fantasy genre, that I hadn't really run into before.
For instance - Just because you have your own point of view chapter, doesn't mean you can't die.
Fantasy is really depressing.
Small people are angry and also quite witty and easy to love.
Catching cats - just as hard in fiction as it is in real life.
Every time I read this book, I'm blown away by how easily and quickly I'm drawn into each and every character. Martin writes in a way that pulls you into the feelings of each character, and knowing from one chapter to the next their intimate feelings, gives you a sense that you know how they are going to react to each situation, like you are in their head. It's done in a way that is really unlike any other book I've read before.
As I stated above, I've had a love hate relationship with this series. The first time I read it
I ate through the first two and half books faster than any other I'd read to date. Half way through number three I lost my copy. As a teenager reading was a huge part of my life, when I had the time, and in this case, other things filled my mind quicker than thoughts of getting another copy of the book.
This series is also partly responsible for my love of historical romance. I read the first two and half books yet again, and quicker even, before I put them down, went to my local bookstore and asked the lady behind the counter for something happy dammit!
And now, I'm at it again. This time I chose to read the book on my Kindle, and about 20 pages from the last, I broke it! Months later, I got my early Christmas gift, which was a Kindle Fire, and promptly finished the book. (WOOT)
I think the key is not to read the books right in a row (this is just my theory for my
own tastes, not a recommendation).
The settings are easy to imagine, and beautiful in my head, even more so than the television show, the characters are so full and loveable/hateable, and the writing is a breeze, easy to read and get lost in.
If you haven't read the books - do so!
If you have - they are quite worth the reread!!