About Me #5: What to do with spoilers

Posted March 5, 2013 by Lola in Lola's Ramblings / 4 Comments

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Today I want to talk about Spoilers. It is surprisingly easy to get spoiled before reading a book. I hate getting spoiled before reading a book, but sometimes it is so difficult to avoid spoilers. And when you look at it from the point of view of the person who post the spoiler, what can you say about a book without spoiling anyone?
What is a spoiler?
I would define a spoiler as everything that gives away something about a book or part of a book you haven’t and makes reading the book less fun. That’s really broadly, but actually I like to know as little as possible about a book before reading it and I can think even small bits of knowledge about what happen in a book can already spoil the experience. 
How can you get spoiled?
Actually I think that almost everything can be a spoiler, the most obvious form of a spoiler is text that someone writes about a book. On Goodreads I often encounter people who talk about a certain book and forget to use spoiler tags or sometimes mention things that they don’t realize could be a spoiler. But aside from this form anything can be a spoiler: a cover, a blurb, the title of the next book, the blurb of the next book, the cover of the next book, a quote, an opinion of someone etc. 
What do I think of spoilers.
I hate getting spoiled and I prefer not to get spoiled at all. Ofcourse there are ways to get spoiled that are worse than others, for example a specific mention of something that happens in a book is worse than knowing the book ends with a cliffhanger or seeing the cover of the next book. Sometimes it is best to start a book without any knowledge beforehand, although without any knowledge about the book it is difficult to decide whether it is a book you would enjoy or not. So I usually read the blurb of the book and ofcourse I see the cover, but I try to avoid conversations about a book I haven’t read yet, because I don’t want to know beforehand what happens, I just want to read it! Unfortunately I also had a few occassion where the blurb already spoiled something, but also the cover of a book or the cover or title of a next book in the series spoiled me a few times. I usually avoid reading the blurb of a book if it isn’t the next book to read in the series. So if I only have read the first book in a series, I do read the blurb of the second book, but I avoid the blurb of the third book. Usually avoiding the cover or title of the third book is almost impossible, so I just hope for the best and hope that the title or cover doesn’t spoil anything. It also happened a few times when people mentioned something bad happened in a book or that it ended in a cliffhanger that this knowledgde changed my opinion of the book while reading it. Normally I don’t consider these things spoilers, but sometimes it can still ruin the story.
Reading a book without spoilers.
I think reading a book wihtout any spoilers at all or actually without any knowledge beforehand may just be the best things to do. I recently read Wait for You by J Lynn and aside from the genre and that it was supposed to be good and written by Jennifer Armentrout I knew nothing about the story. I really enjoyed reading a book like this. I had read the blurb once a long time ago and actually didn’t even remember what was in the blurb. So I bought this book because it was written by Jennifer Armentrout and started reading it immediately, so no other knowledge could ruin the experience. And I really liked the experience, there was no beforehand knowledge that influenced how I perceived the book. The only thing that influenced my opinion was the story itself.
So how can you discuss a book withough giving away spoilers
I actually think that it is next to impossible to openly talk about a book without spoiling anything. That doesn’t mean that I think people should do this. I think it still should be possible to talk about books even with someone who hasn’t read it yet. In this case just make sure that you don’t give away events that happen in the book or mention anything concrete about the story and characters. I do realise that giving your opinion about a book wihout spoiling anything still can be really difficult. I always try to write my own reviews without spoiling enything, but it can be really diffifult sometimes and it is a fine line to walk, what is a spoiler and what isn’t?
So basicaly I hate spoilers. I try to avoid them whenever possible and I think that almost anything has the potential to be a spoiler, be it a quote, the blurb, the title or even the cover. I try to avoid most spoilers, but I still think people should be able to discuss books even with someone who hasn’t read it, just beware not to give away anything that happens in the book. I always try to write my reviews without spoilers, but sometimes it is difficult to decide what is a spoiler and what isn’t.
So what do you all think? What is a spoiler and what isn’t? What should you be able to mention about a book when talking with someone who hasn’t read it? Do you love spoilers or hate them? Do you write you reviews with spoilers or without them? and why?


4 responses to “About Me #5: What to do with spoilers

  1. I write non-spoiler reviews, because I hate when I get spoiled by a review somehow. Spoilers are so common on GR. I think most of my unpleasent spoiler experiences have been there. I just hate it, but what can I do? Nothing. I just hope that people realize that they should put spoiler tags or warnings before they talk about important parts of a story. I know what you mean by spoilery blurbs. Hate those! Why can’t they be like.. after the events that took place in ….. one has to fight for one’s life and make hard decisions considering one’s heart etc etc etc. Ugh. I’m not a big fan of spoilers. I agree 100% that it could ruin the outcome and the reading experience for a reader and it’s hard to write a spoiler free review. The only case where I like spoilers is when I’m not sure whether to continue a series and I want to know what happens and if it’s worth reading. That’s about it. Lovely discussion, Lolita!

    Siiri @ Little Pieces of Imagination

    • Indeed spoilers are way too common on GR and some people don’t actually seem to realize they are spoiling the book for everyone else who read their comments. Also status updates while reading a book can be really spoilery.

      And I also have read a few book where the blurb gives away too much of the story, when I encounter such a blurb I will always mention on my blog that it contains (small) spoilers. I do think that there are lots of ways to talk about a book or even write a review without spoilers. I really hate it when spoilers ruin a book for me.

      There have been a few cases where I wanted to know the ending to a series I wouldn’t continue reading and aksed for spoilers, but that’s about the only time I spoil myself.

  2. I hate spoilers too, to me they are details about the plot that are not mentioned in the synopsis. I do a rewrite of synopsis and am careful not to reveal any addition information. When I write my review I talk about characters, flow and world-building but as careful as I am if it ends in a cliffhanger and I say oh the cliffhanger has me biting my nails..eh..what can you do? I know people who won’t read synopsis or any review and go in blind to their books, which is fine I like a little teaser. However I hate a synopsis that just tells you everything, or a movie where the trailer shows all the best parts…grrr! Great post!

    • I usually do read the synopsis and some reviews before starting a book. Because if you don’t read the blurb how can you decide if you like it or not? Although going blind into a book is really nice too, still I only do this if I know the author and he/she is on my auto-buy list. I don’t mind knowing a book ends in a cliffhanger, although sometimes it can still influence my opinion of the last part of the book. Like when I keep wondering how this book is going to end in a cliffhanger because so far everything goes well. Or I am afraid of the cliffhanger, but it isn’t as bad as expected.

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