To be honest, one of the reasons I didn't read the books (beside the reason I gave in my first post) was the frightening thickness of the books, they are thick like the stones that the pyramids had been made of. And knowing the content, I presumed they'd written in some archaic language or in a high level that hard for me to comprehend, -my English is not well, you see and I'm not an avid fantasy reader- However I was wrong, it was a very smooth reading I've finished the first book in six days.
Thank you for articulating my thoughts exactly : ) I wish I'd read the books first too, but on the other hand if it hadn't been for the show, I wouldn't have known about the books and the vast world of ASOIAF in the first place. So I'm grateful for the introduction. Though I feel same as you. I've already a perception of story, characters and places and when I read, these pictures in my head popping up unintentionally which it really restricts the imagination. Call me weird but I really could use an artbook about ASOIAF to help me replace or variate the rather unimpressive show visuals in my head for a more regal and 'fantasy' perception.