I've seen A Game of Thrones, the TV series, many times over the years so I know the general story (at least, as it's told through that medium). I'd always heard the books are far more dense and are different in many ways from the show. I read the first book, A Game of Thrones, a few years ago and found the show followed the book fairly closely (from memory at least). I started reading A Clash of Kings shortly after on my Kindle but lost interest in both the book and the Kindle.
Last year, I borrowed the printed books from my brother and decided to return to give it another go. I started it then got caught up with reading loads of comics so it was abandoned again for a short time but as I'm trying to read more this year, I finished a run of comics I had lined up, then set aside my reading time to tackle this beast.
I'm about halfway through A Clash of Kings at the time of writing and so far finding it similar to the first book, in the sense that the core story threads seem to have been followed fairly closely when adapted to TV, though I'm finding it's been long enough since I last saw the show that I've only got a spotty memory of what's going to happen at each point. That logic seems to be staying true for now. I vaguely recall bits as I'm reading and in some instances, remember what happens next but mostly, it feels fairly new(ish).
I'm determined to finish this so I can move on to A Storm of Swords and beyond. I'm curious to see where the story goes in the book and how it differs to the show. I suspect by the time I reach the later books (the ones which have been released, at least), there'll be quite some difference in certain story threads.
My only hope in reading these books is that the remaining books still to be published actually make it to print so I can eventually finish the whole series in book form. Considering The Winds of Winter has been a work in progress for well over 10 years now (and still not looking like it's going to hit the shelves any time soon) and George R. R. Martin not getting any younger in the process, my hope is dwindling somewhat.