The other day I was in a bookstore and I was very excited about finally purchasing a book I’d been excited about for months but only just gotten around to buying. Clutching my soon-to-be-bought new addition for my personal library I approached the counter and waiting to complete my purchase. The woman at the register and I started some small talk as she rang up my book but then disaster struck.
Is this the book where [insert character name] dies and [insert other IMPORTANT PLOT TWISTS] happen?”
She saw my face fall as soon as she said it and started backtracking but the damage was done.
This isn’t the first time – nor will it be the last time – when I accidentally stumble upon bookish happenings before they occur. My sister decided to tell me every single death in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows before I got to them (she thought she was helping me emotionally prepare for them in advance).
So, how do I really feel about spoilers?
Most of the time they don’t really bother me. I started The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare years after everyone else and knew so many of the twists and turns before I even got a copy. But other times… THEY REALLY UPSET ME!
I’ve worked out what my rule is:
- If I’ve invested time, money and a whole lot of emotions into a series – I don’t want to know what’s going to happen before I get to it. You can only read a book for the first time once. And when key happenings are revealed before they happen to you… it’s like you’ve skimmed the book before you’ve read it.
- Otherwise, if the book/series is one I’m interested in but just haven’t gotten around to reading yet – spoiler away. Sometimes I find spoilers for books I’m thinking about reading actually push me over the edge and make me want to read the book THAT MUCH MORE!
I try not to reveal any big spoilers in my book reviews. If it’s not in the blurb or the first 15% of the novel – I try as hard as I can not to divulge any pertinent details and if I do I point it out in the first line of my review just so that no body stumbles upon anything they would rather not.
What are your thoughts about spoilers? Have you unintentionally revealed twists to people ahead of time? Do you like knowing what is going to happen ahead of time?