August 12th, 2011

Do Spoilers Really Spoil?

A great topic that peaked my interest today from the Reader’s edition of Shelf Awareness today.

Spoilers Don’t Spoil Anything“. Do you agree with this? Go read the article if you’d like more information. If you haven’t read Harry Potter or seen the last two movies AVOID THAT SITE!

To an extent I guess I can agree. But am I happy that I’ve stumbled upon a spoiler? NO! I actually do not want to know what happens in anything really. Trailers and summaries make me nervous; especially when it comes to a book I want and or plan to read. This also goes for movies.

For example, I’m currently reading BLOOD BOUND by Rachel Vincent. I went to Goodreads to update my reading progress and just decided to go ahead and read the summary. I was on page 172. 172. I thought for sure I was safe from finding out anything too terribly spoilery but NO! The summary told me what was going to happen in the next 20 pages or so. There are 463 pages in this book so that’s approximately half way through the book and the back summary of the book is disclosing information that happens beyond the half way mark! That to me is way too much information into the story to be putting it right out there.

The summary spoiled that plot point for me. Of course it wasn’t a huge plot point but it was a pretty big one that I hadn’t figured out yet and I was quite upset because this book has some serious tension! And I was just given some relief and then MORE tension because of the summary. Now, if I had read the summary before I started the book I would have been like, when the hell is that going to happen? I’m nearly half way done with this book. Needless to say I stopped reading the summary once I stumbled upon that bit of spoilery information. Yes, I didn’t even finish reading a stinking summary to avoid spoilers!

I tweeted about that summary to Rachel and she responded back saying sorry, she didn’t write the blurb. I say to her, it’s okay, but really, whom ever did write it should be hung. There’s no reason why that much information would have to be disclosed to get a reader to pick up the book. There are ways to say something to grab a reader’s attention without giving out specific information. GAH! To say I’m a bit upset is putting it lightly. I may never read another summary again. I usually don’t but like I said I thought I was safe! YOU ARE NEVER SAFE! Unless you’ve already read the book or seen the movie of course.

Two other times I have come across spoilers that affected me personally.

One was when I received my hardcopy of BREAKING DAWN, I started it in Kindle Version, and flipped to the back of the book because I’d heard there was a cool cheat sheet to the vampires and their respective abilities. I got to one name and was like, who the hell is Reneesme(highlight to see spoilery name)? DUN DUN DUN…. SPOILER ALERT! OMFG!

And lastly, I received several emails or Goodreads messages from readers who had seen that I had received an early copy of the last book in Rachel Vincent’s Shifter series, ALPHA. They begged me to know if Marc and Faythe ended up together or if Jace win over Faythe. I did reply but I did not give them what they wanted to know. I just can’t support spoilers!

I guess when it comes to the last book in a series you’re almost dying of anticipation that you may be okay with finding out that must know piece of information. Me? Not so much. I want to harness that lust for the next word and the next piece of information while I’m reading. Finding out a spoiler takes that reaction away from me. I want to feel the suspense. I want to feel the anxiety that the character is feeling. I don’t want to know whether or not they end up together before I find out with the characters! A great example of this very thing is SHADOWFEVER by Karen Marie Moning. DREAMFEVER left off on a MASSIVE cliffhanger. I mean gigantic! I did not peruse the internets to find leaked spoilers. Instead I used my love for the books (characters) to fuel my need to read it for myself.

What about you? Do you avoid spoilers at all costs like me? Not even reading summaries?

I write my reviews with the point to not disclose even the smallest piece of spoilery information. I do post the summaries though, so it’s your choice of whether you read them or not!

 

21 Responses to “Do Spoilers Really Spoil?”

  1. I was really surprised at that article when I saw it yesterday. I didn’t think anyone liked spoilers! Still, sometimes I want to watch a movie again or read a book again, knowing the ending, just to catch the parts I missed before. That doesn’t mean I wanted the ending spoiled the first time around.

    It’s really hard not to give away plot points from the first book when writing the blurb for the second. I am experiencing that now. My first book has a couple of major twists in it, and I haven’t quite figured out how to package the sequel without giving away the doozies from the first. It’s a conundrum.

  2. I agree Cyndi. I too want to re-read a book because of how awesome everything came together. We probably wouldn’t feel that way if we go in the first time knowing what happens.

    Good luck with your second book blurb! I can understand how that would be difficult as I mostly read series and wouldn’t know how to avoid spoilers from the first book. It’s a dangerous thing.

  3. I disagree with the statement ‘spoilers don’t spoil books’. They may not spoil books – for certain people. Personally I wouldn’t want to read a book if I knew what was going to happen anyway! I once saw a spoiler for a Jodi Picoult book I was planning to read and haven’t picked up the book yet – I just can’t see te point of reading it!

    ComaCalm’s Corner

  4. I’d be the same way if I found out a major plot point. I wouldn’t read the book!

  5. The other day I was reading this review on Goodreads about The Iron Knight. Mind that I had already read the book so I just wanted to see how the person interpreted the novel. As I read the first thing that I saw was that the person was going to write a spoiler free review so I was like okay. I get to her version of a summary and I immediately STOPPED and had to email the reviewer. On her summary she was giving away not one but TWO major plot points. So I messaged her and she was really nice and everything and she fixed it (she hadn’t intended to write spoilers).

    But yeah, I had already read the book, but if another person who hadn’t read the book read that review they would have been piiiissseeeed. I know I would have been. So yeah, death to spoilers.

    It’s like telling a kid that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. Not cool.

  6. When a person says the review is spoiler free it better be void of any spoilers! I too ran across a review of a book and contacted the reviewer. They said a character was a werewolf and while the back cover blurb states that plain and clear it was still a spoiler!

  7. I love that last line about Santa! Such a great comparison!

  8. Agree!

  9. Oh, I am SO with you on this one. It aggravates me to the core!

    My sister is the worst, she tells you the ending before she even tells you what its about. So when she starts saying something I shout, “I DON’T WANT TO KNOW!!! LALALA!” Then she will proceed to try and tell me again! AH!

    About a year ago I had a bad experience with spoilers through twitter. A blogger was making fun of an email she had gotten. The email was a reader who was upset because the blogger had told the ending to many of the classics and she hadn’t read them yet. The blogger was then making fun of the reader because if a book had been out over 100 yrs then she had time to read it and already should have. THEN she said its like not knowing that BLANK dies at the end of Harry Potter. I WAS LIVID! I’d not read the last 2 books!!! I then sent a message over to the blogger saying,”Hey thanks, I haven’t read the last 2 books in HP. Spoiling is never a good idea!” She then said I should have already read it and she didn’t tell me HOW this person died so it meant that it was OK. I just shake my head at such behaviour.

    I am anti spoiling. I can’t read reviews because I’m afraid it will be spoiled.

  10. Wow. That’s horrible! It doesn’t matter how old a book is! Don’t give away the plot or at most the major points!

    A review doesn’t need to have a summary of what happened. A review can be written without even mentioning major points about the book. That’s what I strive to do each time I write a review.

  11. I very, very strongly disagree with that article. Whether or not spoilers spoil something is so highly personal. They could do another random study with a completely different groups of people and find the opposite to be true. Look at the titles they used. I haven’t heard of most of those. Do it with something more recent and/or more well known, then we’ll talk.

    For me, spoilers are called spoilers for a reason. They SPOIL the book for me. In many cases, I keep reading because I want to see how it all plays out. Sometimes, that is the ONLY thing keeping me reading. if the book’s been spoiled, why should I continue?

    No, I avoid spoilers. I avoid even a HINT of a spoiler – up to and including book synopses, as they often provide enough information that I can figure out what’s going on way too early in the book.

  12. To be honest, I’m okay with both spoilers and people who avoid getting spoiled. There are books out there that I don’t want spoiled for me so I make an effort to avoid any forums where spoilers may lurk. On the other hand, I also like having spoilers for books that I’m on the fence about. I don’t think it’s right for anyone to dictate whether or not it’s okay to post spoilers, because it really just boils down to a personal decision. I’ve always operated with the understanding that ANY review will have spoilery things, in comments or in the text itself, so I don’t read them. If someone were to complain to me about reading reviews and getting spoiled because of them, I wouldn’t feel too badly for them. I’m not okay with people who try to find newbies and ruin the experience for them though.

  13. I totally agree. Knowing I don’t like spoilers, I avoid things – reviews, sites, etc. – that might have them. It’s up to an individual to try to avoid them if they don’t like ’em.

    Plus, sometimes – at least for me – when writing a review, it is impossible for me to avoid a spoiler. When that happens, I make it clear so anyone who doesn’t want to see spoilers can choose not to read it.

    Oooh, yes, people who take pleasure out of ruining it for others really piss me off! So not cool!

  14. I disagree with that article. I HATE spoilers.

    I have Looking for Alaska by John Green spoiled for me. Thankfully it didn’t take away from the book, but just added an increased tension: like I knew what was coming but I didn’t know how or when.

    I’m thankful that I cut myself off from all social media when the 6th Harry Potter book came out. If I had seen that coming (I think you know what I’m talking about) I would have idk thrown someone off a clock tower.

    Another book ruined for me was Catching Fire. I about near lost my mind when I read a spoiler-filled review on Amazon for that one!

  15. Good Sunday to you, Jess.
    I love spoilers ! I think they are very helpful. But I have to admit that sometimes I read the last page of the book too so I know what happens:)

  16. I actually used to do that too a few years ago. Also, while browsing books in the store I used to open a book to a random page, just about halfway through, and read it to see if it “fit” me. Kinda like trying on clothes. :) I don’t do that very often anymore.

  17. It’s mostly the same for me, I do read summaries but I try very hard to avoid spoilers. I’m also very careful not to accidently drop any spoilers on others.

    I once talked to my cousin about Vampire Academy and in the heat of the discussion (well it’s the only excuse I got) I nearly let something big slip that is revealed in the last book that she hadn’t read yet because she was still waiting for the translation. Anyway I was able to salvage the situation I pretended I mixed up some names, it was totally convincing. She’s read it now, next time I see her I’ll ask her about it.

    I also feel bad when people tell me they were told a spoiler by someone else, I’ve tried to fix it once or twice by discrediting the spoiler and spinning other confusing tales…anyway my friends felt better afterward so that’s good.

    If someone REALLY wants to know something I will in some cases tell them because otherwise they will just look it up somewhere and that way I can try not to give too much away.

    I don’t like lenghty trailers for movies because I feel like many already give too much away. Sometimes it’s like you go to the cinema and after the previews you feel like you’ve already watched four movies.

    I’ve got more examples for my dislike of spoilers but I think that was enough from me^^

  18. Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you got it figured out.

    It’s hard to censor yourself when you’re fangirling over an awesome book. I do it a lot with my family too! I end up sharing my favorite reads with my mother-in-law and then her sister and other members of her family. They’re always coming to me for their next book so I have to be careful to not tell them too much about it. I have to wait until they read it to talk about it.

  19. […] to be vague and pointing out one of the final twists right on the back copy really upset me. I ranted about it […]

  20. […] I pick a few? My favorite discussion topic was one I had on spoilers and whether they really spoil (YES! They do!). One of my most favorite books that I reviewed was Graffit Moon by Cath Crowley. If […]

  21. I’m the same way about spoilers. If I KNOW I’m going to read a book, I won’t read a review. If it’s months ahead of time, I’ll probably read a summary because I’ll have forgotten it by the time I read the book. When I read books, I pick up on small sentences really easily. So everyone who reads will go, “OMG, I never saw XYZ *coming!* ljaf;dkljf;ads” and I’ll be like, “Yeah, I realized that on page XX.”

    Right now, I’m not seeing SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN until Thursday, and I know people who have seen it already. I’m like, “Stop. Don’t even say if you like it or hate it. I’ll either build it up in my head and be disappointed if you think it’s amazing or I’ll be upset and not looking forward to it if you say it sucks.” Sometimes, I won’t read books I’ve been dying for if people I trust say they’re horrible. I HATE spoilers!!

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