Kernels of Nonsense is a bimonthly feature where I discuss various bookish topics. This week I will be discussing spoilers, but I promise this post will not actually contain any (you can already get a sense of where I stand on this one, huh?)
Even though I don’t shout it from the rooftops, my book blog is pretty spoiler-free. I write my reviews, keeping in mind that those reading them may not have read the book first. There are several reasons why I do this. For one, I think that everyone who picks up a book should have the opportunity to be surprised. Secondly, my personal experiences with spoilers has been overwhelmingly negative. Thirdly, it just feels like common courtesy to not bellow out spoilers (at least not without a warning).
I really hate spoilers of any kind. Whether it be books, television, or movies, I try my best to keep my eyes and ears shut. One of my biggest pet-peeves is when you tell someone not to tell you what happened (the situation isn’t important), and they just can’t help themselves, so they blurt it out anyway. They clearly heard me say please, don’t tell me and yet they have to open their mouths anyway. I feel down-right murderous when they do. Murderous.
Staying away from spoilers can be very difficult, especially when you consider social media. Whether you ask for it or not, there is a ton of information coming at you from all angles. You can only do so much when it comes to blocking or blacklisting certain topics. In truth, you don’t need to go looking for spoilers, they sometimes have a way of sneaking up on you uninvited.
Unfortunately, this is what happened to me and Veronica Roth’s Allegiant. I had only read Divergent and had bought the other two books in the series, intending on reading them. Not long after the last book’s release, I noticed the rating was significantly lower than the other two books’ ratings both on Goodreads and Amazon. I vaguely wondered why, but avoided reading any reviews because I didn’t want to know until I had read the books myself. And then one day: BAM! Without so much as a warning, someone had posted a large picture exclaiming a major spoiler. So here I had a pretty shocking spoiler flashing on my tablet and no way to unsee it. First I felt shocked and then I felt robbed. I’m never going to be able to read the final two books without knowing what is going to happen and will never know how I would have reacted without prior knowledge. As you can probably tell, I’m still not over it (I have yet to pick up Insurgent).
Since I’ve been a part of the blogging community, I haven’t come across any major spoilers and I am so grateful. I’ve seen books like E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl talked and raved about for months. I was a little slow picking these up and probably wouldn’t have if they had been spoiled for me first. So if you’ve reviewed either or ever recommended one or the other to me, I want to say thank you for not spoiling it for me. I really appreciate it.
Sometimes it can be extremely tempting to share a spoiler. There are those books whose twists and turns completely define the book and you suddenly have a strong desire to talk about it. This is one of the disadvantages to having a spoiler-free blog. I’ve actually considered writing special posts that include spoilers, so those who wish to delve deeper into certain books can and those who don’t wish to find out what happens until they’ve read said books can avoid the spoilers. I’m thinking of a monthly feature for either certain books or a series.
I do understand the merits of spoilers in reviews. I’m not necessarily against it either, but I do feel it is necessary to give readers a warning before they continue reading. There is also the issue of how long a book has been out and whether or not talking about major plot points can be considered a spoiler. For example, many people may not have read Jane Eyre and telling you who is in the attic may be considered a spoiler, but it’s been over 150 years, can it really be considered one? (Notice how I didn’t actually give anything away, it’s because my ridiculous conscience doesn’t allow me to!) Is there a timetable on spoilers? A year? Five years? Or is it just safer not say anything at all?
What do you think about spoilers in reviews? Do you run a spoiler-free blog? Has a book ever been spoiled for you? Is there a certain timetable for spoilers that you adhere to? What do you think of my idea of posting a monthly feature that includes spoilers?