Bring on the spoilers!

August 29, 2014 Randomz 16

lit lover logic
Not long ago, I discussed predictability and whether that ruins a book for you. In that post, I also clarified that I am not one to get all hot and bothered by spoilers. In fact, (hold on to your pearls) I sometimes seek them out.

I’m pretty much going against everyone else on the planet apparently, because people get so, excuse me for this, butthurt about finding out a plot point or character development or that someone sneezes on page 342.

For me, the story isn’t ruined if I know a pivotal part of what is going to happen. And if I can’t enjoy the story after knowing what will happen, then the storytelling isn’t strong the first place. Think about rereading your favorite book or re-binging a TV series. You already know what will happen, but you still enjoy it. That’s because there is more to the story going on than just reveals and big twists.

Some people get thrills and enjoyment from the surprise, the shock, the unexpectedness of it all. That’s fine for you if that is what you read (or watch) for. But, I don’t. I want to be impressed by the overall design of the story and the characters and their growth and the gradual, subtle nuances that make it all so clever.

I appreciate the unexpected twist, I really do. But if I am reading along and am really excited about what is going to happen but have to stop reading to go do something life-related, sometimes I look up what will happen in the story. I am just too excited to wait.

The opposite case happens too, when a book is so boring and I try to determine whether I should stick it out. Reading reviews on Goodreads, particularly the 1-2 star ones, helps me figure out whether it is truly worth the time. And I will try to find the reviews marked with spoilers to assess if the tale is going anywhere impressive.

It feels like the internet has prompted us to be hypersensitive to potential spoilage. You can’t go an hour without hearing someone complain about having the MASSIVE THING ruined for them. Not surprisingly, I see it a lot on official Facebook pages for the show, or a review site, or Twitter. Generally everywhere. It is this constant attachment to the interwebs that is causing this pandemic. And when a lot of people find out this MASSIVE THING, they see red.

Here’s a suggestion. If you are reading a book or watching a TV show, don’t go online to read about it. Don’t go online AT ALL if you thrive off of surprises. Murphy’s law, folks. Stay in your room, shut the blinds, turn off your phone or tablet or any device with a “stream” of potentially spoilery news, and just finish your book or TV show or movie.

OR, learn to get over it and just enjoy the work for what it is.

book reviews by anne engelhart

Let me know what you think in the comments. How do you fare with spoilers?

16 Responses to “Bring on the spoilers!”

  1. Valerie


    Unlike you, I love going into books blind! But the only reason this happens is because after I read the blurb or review, I forget about it. And then when I pick up the book, all I know is that someone said it was good.

    I remember this one time, I accidentally spoiled myself a little on the video game I was playing, Bioshock, but it was completely my fault since I went in looking for more info on the game. But oh well, there’s nothing I could do about that. And I agree with the whole spoilers thing. I really try not to spoil people, but if someone is going on the internet and then complains about being spoiled, well, it was to be expected :/

    • Anne

      I just finished Bioshock Infinite and had it spoiled a bit from the person I borrowed it from. Or, at least he kept saying it would have a major reveal in the end, and then I was expecting it to happen. So, not the same, but I could see how that would bother some.

      I like to read a lot about a book before I pick it up! I read reviews to make sure I really want to spend time on it. But going in blind has its advantages too. Not really a possibility of over-hype.

  2. Angie @Angela's Anxious Life

    I will say that I am one of the people who don’t want to be spoiled. And I agree with you.. since I don’t want to be spoiled I avoid reading reviews and what not about things that I don’t want spoiled. The few times I have been spoiled have been by no fault of mine. Someone blurts something out in conversation or one time I was spoiled for Alegiant on Pinterest of all places. I glanced at some comments and BOOM someone spoiled it. Notice I didn’t mention the spoiler here. LOL!

    • Anne

      I remember hearing about that pinterest spoiler before from you! I still can’t believe that someone would leave that in a comment! And I haven’t read Allegiant, but I know what spoiler you are talking about. :) I looked that one up too! Even if spoilers don’t bother me, I make sure to hide them, mark them as such because I know it drives others crazy!

  3. Mel@thedailyprophecy

    NEVER. Haha. I’m one of those people who really enjoy being surprised and when someone takes that away from me, I feel horrible. I hate spoilers with such a fierce passion. The only time I look for them is when I DNF a book and I want to see how the story wraps up. But when it’s something I’m enjoying, I stay away from everything that might accidentally spoiler me – like you advised.

    The same with TV shows. Last time I had someone who thought it was funny to tell me the ending of the GOT episode, when I clearly stated I was going to watch it that evening and that I was excited about it. It’s just so nasty when you do that on purpose.

    I think everyone must handle spoilers in their own way. It spoils the fun for me, but I can also accept that some people search for them. It’s different with rereading, because I was already surprised the first time :)

    • Anne

      They purposely told you?! That’s just plain sadistic! GOT is one of those shows where there are sooo many potential spoilers. I’ve already read the books, so it was hard to keep my mouth shut when people said leading comments about how much they wish a certain character would get payback, etc. I knew they were going to love where the series was going, but didn’t want to say anything!

      With DNFs and series I decide not to continue, I usually end up trying to find a synopsis too. Sometimes I want to know what will happen, but just don’t care enough to go through the bad writing.

  4. Tanya Patrice

    I tell myself that I don’t mind spoilers – and really, I don’t. BUT the times when I’ve been completely side-swiped by a book because I remembered nothing about the plot or what anyone said about said books, have been priceless, and I don’t hink I could have replicated that feeling if I had had an inkling about that plot twist.

    • Anne

      There have been a few series that have suprised me with plot twists that I look back afterwards and can’t believe I didn’t catch it. Or ones where I knew something was supposed to be coming, but not the details, and it still wowed me. Those are great writers!

  5. Caitlin

    Mostly, I don’t mind spoilers. In fact, I’m one of those terrible people who sometimes reads the last couple pages of a book first. The exception is mysteries, where I want to see if I can figure out the answer, on my own, before the story reveals it.

    • Anne

      I’ve read the ending of some books first too! And often, it doesn’t really mean much! But it is fun to see others cringe when doing it. I did it in front of a Ashley for a series she was going to finish and I decided not to read the last book (The Selection series). I looked up the last page and it did make sense and I felt like I didn’t need to read any more. Of course, I didn’t say anything to Ashley until she finished, but still.

  6. Charleen

    There is a big difference, though, between seeking out spoilers and accidentally stumbling across one. And yes, I do love to re-read books, re-watch TV shows and movies… but I still want to experience it fresh that first time. Just because I can love it again and again doesn’t mean I won’t be upset if that initial experience is taken away from me.

    All that said, I do think some people get really oversensitive about it. The one I really can’t stand is all the West Coast people getting annoyed at East Coast live-tweeters. Really? I know it’s not your fault you can’t watch it yet, but you really can’t stay off the internet for three hours?

    • Anne

      You are right, if you aren’t immune to spoilers, then accidentally finding out is the pits. Usually I just figure that it whatever was revealed is going to be so much better in context so it doesn’t bother me. And, ha to the Twitter rage. I was thinking of that when typing this up. Just don’t tweet! And if it is trending, stay far, far away!

  7. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    I admit it, I hate spoilers. The less I know, the more I enjoy it. I guess I just prefer to get the story how the author tells it and for me finding out key plot points can ruin any suspense or surprise I may otherwise experience. :) But, I don’t care if other people like them. To each their own.

    • Anne

      To each their own is right. :) I don’t always look things up either. Sometimes the suspense is really built well and I do like a good plot twist or reveal!

  8. Annie

    I don’t like spoilers at all. But for me it isn’t about the unexpected twist or the shocking reveal. It’s about perspective and experience. When I see a movie or tv show or read a book, I want to be able to discover it and experience it for what it is. Without expecting something that’s coming or waiting for them to get to whatever. I won’t read movie reviews until after I’ve seen the movie. Because I don’t want their opinion to taint my experience of it. When I worked in LA I hated reading scripts because I just can’t watch the movie after that. I wouldn’t experience the movie – I’d just watch it play out, line for line, just as I was expecting.

    But then, that’s the weird thing about rereading. Because I do know what’s going to happen. But it’s like remembering the emotions of the story or that moment that was so interesting. It’s an entirely different dimension than watching something that’s been spoiled.

    I know it’s weird, but that’s why I don’t like spoilers.

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