How to Read the George R.R. Martin Books That Launched Game of Thrones for Free

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If you’ve been meaning to read the A Song of Ice and Fire book series for some time, then you’re in luck. As Fortune reports, you can read the George R.R. Martin books that inspired HBO's Game of Thrones for free on your preferred electronic device.

The first five books in the fantasy series are available in both e-book and audiobook format on Libby, a free mobile app that syncs up with your library memberships and lets you stream or download books. The app is available on smartphones and tablets, but not on Kindles. However, you can still send a book to your Kindle by using the Libby app on another device.

The books that are currently available on Libby include: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons. Of course, many libraries also let you rent e-books directly from their collection without ever having to leave your house, but there are some perks to using the Libby app. When a library book is due, it will automatically be returned, without you having to worry about late fees. Books can also be easily renewed within the app. (If you're determined to own the books yourself, a paperback set costs $30 on Amazon.)

As for those who are anxiously awaiting the next installment in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, Martin promises it's coming. The noted author reportedly turned down a cameo appearance in the final season of Game of Thrones, which is loosely based on his books, in order to focus on writing The Winds of Winter, which will be the sixth book.

“It’s the end for a lot of people,” Martin said of the TV series, according to Entertainment Weekly. “It’s not the end for me. I’m still deeply in it. I better live a long time because I have a lot of work left to do.”

[h/t Fortune]

Vans Is Launching a Harry Potter-Themed Collection of Sneakers and Apparel

© 2011 Warner Bros. Harry Potter Publishing Rights (c) J.K. Rowling
© 2011 Warner Bros. Harry Potter Publishing Rights (c) J.K. Rowling

If we’ve learned anything from the recent releases of Van Gogh-, David Bowie-, and NASA-themed collections of Vans shoes, it’s that you have to act fast—really fast—if you want to snag a limited edition sneaker. As CNN reports, customers are already begging Vans to take their money after the brand announced an upcoming Harry Potter collection, and the designs haven’t even been unveiled yet.

To the delight of self-proclaimed Gryffindors and Ravenclaws around the world, Vans just dropped this bombshell on its website: “Vans and Harry Potter collaborated to conjure up a magical collection of footwear, apparel, and accessories for witches, wizards, and muggles alike.”

As for the specific details and release date for the designs, Vans appears to be as good as Snape at keeping a secret. But if the background image on the website is any indication, the shoes will likely be modeled after the four Hogwarts houses.

We can also likely expect to see a variety of classic shoe styles. Past pop culture-inspired Vans collections have been based on Old Skool, slip-on, platform, and high-top models.

To receive updates on the Harry Potter collection, submit your email address here.

[h/t CNN]

Out of Print's Retro Star Wars T-Shirts Pay Homage to an '80s Reading Campaign

Out of Print
Out of Print

If only Luke had known that he could use a book to channel The Force, it might have saved him a whole lot of hassle. Online retailer Out of Print has united two nerdy camps—readers and Star Wars lovers—with its latest collection of retro-inspired T-shirts.

One shirt features Yoda with the text, “Read and The Force is with you.” A Princess Leia tee says, “Read: It’s our only hope,” while one of Darth Vader says, “Read: Use the power of The Force.”

A Star Wars t-shirt
Out of Print

If the graphics look familiar, it’s because they’re from the American Library Association’s Star Wars-themed READ campaign, which first emerged in 1983 with a poster of Yoda holding a book.

“Star Wars is a vehicle to help support and excite young readers,” Todd Lawton, Out of Print’s co-founder, told StarWars.com. “That’s perfectly in line with our mission and we feel that the world’s a better place if people are reading more books. So when you see a character like Yoda or Darth Vader presented in a way that’s supporting this love of reading and the importance of reading, we want to show that and celebrate that as well.”

An Out of Print T-shirt featuring Darth Vader
Out of Print

The shirts are priced at $28 or $30 apiece, depending on whether it’s a classic unisex T-shirt or relaxed fit tee. Kids’ shirts are also available for $20 each.

Out of Print is also selling a Little Golden Books collection of Star Wars hardcovers, including A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and an anthology with seven books in one. For more literary-inspired apparel, totes, accessories, and more, check out the company's website.

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