This is a periodic discussion feature here at Snuggly Oranges about the many problems one can run into as a book nerd.
Where I expect spoilers to be lurking:
- Book reviews. Quite obviously, there may be spoilers in reviews. This is one of many reasons why I don’t often read reviews. Especially if it’s a book I’m planning on reading soon, I don’t want to know anything about what happens, so I just don’t read the reviews. But sometimes, I click on a review. And I would still expect there to be either a warning for spoilers or to have them hidden by spoiler tags. Preferably both.
- Goodreads. Goodreads is a site to discuss books, so yeah, I understand you want to talk about plot twists in updates. I would still hope that these would be hidden behind spoiler tags, since that is a feature Goodreads decided to grace us with, but for books I’m planning to read, I’m pretty good at scrolling by updates, recognizing the book cover, and then scrolling quickly away so I don’t read anything.
- Reviews of sequels. I am of the opinion that it is perfectly acceptable to reference events of previous books in the series when reviewing a sequel book. Those spoilers are bound to happen. So I do generally avoid them if I haven’t started the series yet.
- Comments on reviews/Goodreads. Though reviews and posts on Goodreads might be respectful and hide their spoilers, comments are a higher risk. But you’re perfectly at liberty to discuss those plot twists and shocking moments there. I don’t often read the comments, nope.
- Communication around very old books. Doesn’t matter where, but generally spoilers for older releases are acceptable. Within reason.
Where I do NOT appreciate spoilers:
- Twitter. Please. PLEASE. Can we STOP with the spoilers on Twitter? I get it. You’re reading. THIS THING happens. You’re shocked. You need to talk about it. But consider your followers. Twitter is one feed that people scroll through of short messages. There is no way to hide things. People CANNOT avoid your spoilers. Also consider the fact that a message of, “OH MY GOD THE MIDDLE OF ____________” would suffice. People who have read the book know what you’re talking about. And then when they respond, you can take your conversation to DMs, Google chat, Whatsapp, SMS, whatever option you choose. But please. PLEASE. No open spoilers on Twitter. Even in conversations. People in the book blogosphere often follow the same people. These aren’t private conversations. Please consider their feelings.
P.S. The same goes for TV series – this is not just for books. TV series spoilers seriously piss people off and could be avoided.
P.P.S. Please also keep this in mind if you have Goodreads linked to your Twitter account.
- Top Ten Tuesdays. I just have to mention this, since that’s where I got spoiled today. Look, I get that the topic of “Books That Make You Cry” can involve some pretty spoilery things – but again, people who’ve read it probably know what you’re talking about. So what’s so bad about saying “OBVIOUS TEARS FOR OBVIOUS REASONS”? I just got spoiled about a certain character death in a series that I was still in the process of reading. I can’t even. No. Even if you think you’re being vague enough in your comment, reread it – twice – three times. Don’t just think about people who haven’t read the series yet, but also those who have started and are still in the process. Odds are they know the characters and could see through your vagueness. Just… consider that.
A Spoiler Horror Story
That is one fucking dickhead move. Come on. I wasn’t even reading the reviews, but CAPITAL LETTERS? There was no way I could avoid reading that snippet while I was scrolling. I promptly unfriended this person because I do not need such disrespectful behavior on my Goodreads.
What spoilers do to me:
THAT’S THE PROBLEM. I REALLY CAN’T.
Not only that, but being spoiled takes the fun out of reading those books, if I ever do get around to it. I don’t have the same emotional involvement. I know what happens. That character dies? Well, I’m not going to let myself get attached to them. By the time the shocking twist happens, I am not shocked. I am not stunned. I am not outraged. I am accepting. Because it’s a fact of the book. I knew it was coming. I cannot disagree with it. I can easily, even, be bored.
Measures I am taking:
First of all, get yourself off of Twitter, and over to Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck is much more awesome anyway. But in the settings you can mute text content (including annoying hashtags like #GetGlue and even, dare I say it, #TeaTime), meaning you won’t see tweets with that text. At the moment, my mute list includes such useful entries as “Allegiant” and “Ignite Me”.