Following in the footsteps of IO9’s recent “How to get into the Witcher Novels” backgrounder, (which totally wasn’t an excuse for a Gawker Media website to write another piece of Witcher-related content on the back of The Wild Hunt’s launch) I thought it important to share my highly detailed and supremely sophisticated guide for reading Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher novels.

After all, books are fucking complicated things. What with the page numbers, words, and typesetting.

Don’t even get me started on the semi-colons. Is it a period? Is it a comma? I don’t know about you, but I don’t think we should have to live in a world where closely related independent clauses can be joined together. If we allow this to pass, it’s only a matter of time before people are marrying interobangs before Satan’s black mass.

Now without further ado, here is my essential guide for reading The Witcher novels.

Step 1: Become literate

Spoiler alert, if you grew up in the developed world, you’ve almost certainly got this covered. In fact, if you’re reading these words, then you can rest assured that you have met the most fundamental step in reading the Witcher novels.

An alternate for people who either can’t or won’t read (if you can read but choose not to, then you can go right to hell) is the ever popular audio book. Don’t want to pay for an audio book? No problem, you can semi-legally listen to the full reading of The Last Wish on youtube.

Step 2: Get a Witcher book

Now this one is a bit tricky. There are a lot of options for actually getting a book. One might go so far as to say it’s a bit overwhelming. Listen to me carefully when I say, I am here for you. We will get through this together.

Traditionalists will want to put on pants/shorts/muumuus before driving/walking/cycling/bussing to the bookstore. Upon entering the bookstore, one can proceed to use legal tender for the acquisition of a physical book. For my potentially confused youth audience, a book is the internet on paper. You may have seen books in your grandparents’ house.

Alternatives to books include e-readers or iPads. Books also come on non-Apple tablets, but I am under the impression only myself and seven other people in the world own those.

Step 3: Read a Witcher book

Reading is the act of using your sense organs to translate symbols into ideas. In other words, it’s the thing you do a book to get the fun bits out of a book. In some ways reading is a lot like having sex. There are many positions and techniques for you to try. Some will be more comfortable than others, so don’t be afraid to experiment. After a while, you might want to try reading with many people, this too is a good and natural thing. If you’re new to reading, you’ll probably want to talk about reading with other people. Likewise, this is fine thing to do. Be sure to pay attention to people’s visual cues. Not all people are comfortable talking in public about their reading.

If you follow all three of these steps, you can be sure to have a great time while reading any Witcher novel or short story collection.