Book Nerd Problems #17: Spoilers

Posted February 5, 2014 by Debby in Book Nerd Problems, Discussions / 29 Comments

This is a periodic discussion feature here at Snuggly Oranges about the many problems one can run into as a book nerd.

#17. Spoilers

This morning I was just scrolling along my merry way, checking out Top Ten Tuesday posts, and the first one I clicked on spoiled me for a major plot event in a series which I’ve started and have been meaning to finish at some point. Guys. Guys. CAN WE NOT? I’ve struggled with it before, but this is just NOT COOL. I’m not standing for it anymore, so time for me to make a PSA: PLEASE STOP WITH THE SPOILERS.

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Where I expect spoilers to be lurking:

There are some places where it’s obvious that there is a high risk of spoilers. Here I can prepare myself and take measures as best as possible. But of course, there should still be a measure of respect.

  • 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:

There are some places where spoilers can be lurking and should not be, imo.

  • 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.
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A Spoiler Horror Story

After I read Vampire Academy last summer and wasn’t that impressed, I decided to check on Goodreads. Many people had told me that the series got better as it went on. I wanted to check that. I only meant to scroll through the book pages of book 2 and book 3 to broadly observe the ratings, but then… but then… some idiot decided that in their review of Shadow Kiss they should put two sentences in CAPITAL letters of, “OH MY GOD. I CANNOT BELIEVE _______________________________” …I kid you not.

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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.

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What spoilers do to me:

As a result of the spoiler discoveries mentioned above, my desire to read these books has gone way down. Especially in the case of Vampire Academy where many people acknowledge the shock of that plot twist to be one of the highlights of the entire series. Here’s the thing: if you ask someone to tell you the plot for a book, you may forget it after a while. Peoples’ memories aren’t perfect, and mine certainly isn’t. But accidental spoilers don’t work this way. They linger forever and I’ll never forget them. This mostly happens because I really didn’t want to know, so obviously my brain decides to troll me and force me to know. Forever.

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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:

I’m quite frankly not taking chances with this spoiler thing. I generally dislike it when people are inconsiderate to the people around them, and that’s exactly what posting spoilers in open forums is, to me. Muting topics on Twitter has been my one saving grace, and I think it’s the reason why I have not yet been spoiled for Allegiant. So I want to share that with you, since not everyone knows what I mean.

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”.

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To sum it all up:

STOP WITH THE SPOILERS. BE CONSIDERATE TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FOLLOWERS. OKAY?

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29 responses to “Book Nerd Problems #17: Spoilers

  1. Wow, thank you so much for this post! Very insightful! And I’ve been worrying about spoilers for Ignite Me and Cress ALL DAY TODAY (my books haven’t come yet… *grumbles*), so I’m glad that I can mute things on TweetDeck!

    And I completely agree with you. I was reading Me Since You by Laura Wiess, and I was halfway through when I stumbled upon a review of it from one of my favorite reviewers on Tumblr. So naturally I read the review. THEN THERE WAS A SPOILER IN THE MIDDLE OF THE REVIEW OH SO CASUALLY HANGING OUT. Like, no. I’m sorry…but no. Needless to say, I unfollowed that girl, and will probably not read her reviews again in case of a spoiler. I’ve been very cautious online with books I haven’t read yet recently because of this incident.

    I’m so sorry you had to go through that! I feel you, bro.

    And I totally get what you mean about TV series. Last year I was making my way through The Vampire Diaries when someone updated their status on Facebook with “OMG ELENA _________.” Like, can we not? Can we just not?

    Tysvm.
    Tori @ YA Book Queens recently posted Tori’s Review: Me Since You by Laura WiessMy Profile

    • Heh, you’re welcome!

      Yeah, if I’m following someone and for the rest I don’t really know them at all, accidental spoilers can be a big enough reason for me to mute/unfollow them. You’re not alone there. It’s very annoying. 🙁

      Facebook can be bad too but at least there not as many people post status updates about tv series/books. At least, not on my friends list. But it should not be done. Inconsiderate jerks. *mutters*

  2. This post is so incredibly accurate. I mean, seriously. I hate spoilers. My brain usually forgets EVERYTHING except of course when I accidentally read a PLOT TWIST OMG SPOILER!!, because obviously it then latches on to it like it’s a lifeline. Even the vague hints are annoying, like reading ‘this character who I love.. just …!!’ or ‘omg wait until you get to THAT scene’ which is maybe even more annoying because I’ll be anticipating SOMETHING EPIC and then when I’m reading it and I don’t find it I will be disappointed because I was expecting SOMETHING even though the story may not lead up to it and everything deflated. Buh.

    I’ve still got my Tumblr set to muting Sherlock. I don’t watch the show (please don’t kill me) but I was fed up with all the gifsets of certain scenes that would go on FOREVER and there was no avoiding. And it still covers part of my timeline, though this time it’s blocked.

    Because of all this, I rarely read reviews. I usually read reviews for books I’ve already read, just because I’ve been spoiled so many times when I just got into this reading/blogging thing. It’s so unnecessary. Why can’t we just say what we like and don’t like without spilling all the beans — let’s leave the book to be discovered by the person who decides to read the book after reading your review. Isn’t that what we all love about reading? Discovering new worlds, new characters, new stories? Let’s not ruin that for eachother.
    Daph recently posted On My Wishlist (61)My Profile

    • Yes yes yes. Ugh. Stupid brain. It never listens to me :'( And I get you on the vague hints. Usually … NOT that vague. And that kind of ties into my thoughts on hype, but I’m saving that for a whole ‘nother rant.

      Tumblr is the WORST for spoilers. That’s one reason why I hardly use it anymore. And I get you, Tumblr Savior was seriously my savior. I don’t blame you for blacklisting Sherlock. I blacklisted Teen Wolf and ALL it’s stupid effing derivatives “tw” “Stiles” etc. ugh. And still there’s Teen Wolf on my dash sometimes. Just no. -.-

      I get you. I only really feel comfortable reading reviews of books that I’ve already read. Though there are also some bloggers that I just know I can trust, that wouldn’t post spoilers. So. I guess that’s a thing.

  3. OMG YES. ESPECIALLY ON TWITTER!! It doesn’t make sense to me when two people who follow eachother openly talk about what happens in a book. Like um, have you heard of direct messaging? ==’ I try to read only reviews for books I’ve read too or I skim through as fast as I can to see if there’s anything that could be a spoiler. Spoilers don’t affect me too badly but it gets me pissed if I was really excited about it. Unless for some reason I really want to know what happens but like that’s not often. I try to make it clear if I have any spoilers in my reviews so I hope no one stumbles on one on my reviews! I hardly ever have spoilers though unless it’s like not the first in a series.
    Laura Plus Books recently posted Book Review: Ignite Me by Tahereh MafiMy Profile

    • True, conversations on Twitter is how multiple people got spoiled for Allegiant, if I remember correctly. It’s sad. And yeah, I’m guilty of skimming book reviews as well.

      Some others have also said that in certain cases, getting spoiled makes them want to read/watch the thing more. And I guess I get that but it’s for very limited cases: if I really wasn’t planning on checking it out because it sounded lame/not my thing/derivative, and the spoiler was a game changer that appeals to me. BUT I don’t really remember ever having that, at least not recently. And in that case, most likely I would ask someone to spoil me in a private conversation. That stuff still shouldn’t be out in the open where anyone might accidentally read it, because they might not have wanted to be spoiled.

  4. This is a great post, Debby! Nobody like spoilers. I got spoilers from Tumblr ALL the time and it sucked, big time. *sigh*

    And it’s tricky since we all have different standard of spoilers. A minor spoiler for a certain book could be considered as a major spoiler by a different reader, vice versa. Someone might think it’s okay to know about a book ending by looking through the reviews on Goodreads because they want to know if a book has happy ending or not (I sometimes do that!) but someone other might not be okay with it.

    I guess we just have to be considerate of others. To put the spoiler warning at the beginning of a review is not such a difficult thing to do, anyway. Especially for the early-reviewer. The ‘mute’ feature on Tweetdeck is a great idea, too!
    Tirta @ I Prefer Reading recently posted World After by Susan EeMy Profile

    • Tumblr is awful as well for spoilers, and that’s pretty much one of the biggest reasons why I’m never on there anymore. Though they also have a sort of mute option – a plugin for Chrome called “Tumblr Savior“. So I suggest you check that out!

      True, spoiler standards vary per person, but I think it’s best to err on the side of caution. Just nicer for other people. I think minor details often aren’t spoilers, and anything covered in the book synopsis is also fair game. But other people could easily be more touchy about that.

  5. Great post!

    Twitter is definitely a danger. If I do talk about a book on there I try to keep it vague like…OH MY GOD NO. Or YES YES YES. Or I might screech a characters name like IKOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO IS SO CUTE.

    I have just started reading the Lunar Chronicals because everyone is raving about Cress. I’ve stayed pretty unspoiled other than character names and which fairytale each book matches up too. And I am LOVING Cinder so far, so I’m terrified of being spoiled on that one…

    I had heard of tweetdeck but I didn’t know that you could block tags! Going to get on that straight away!
    Natalie recently posted Aerenden: The Child Returns – 4/5My Profile

  6. Anny

    You’re so right! I hate always being aware of spoilers when I scroll through my updates on goodreads. When I see a book cover of a book I haven’t read yet, I usually don’t read the comment that goes with it, even if I’m interested in the persons’ opinion.

    I think Youtube is also a place where you get spoiled easily, because many people just don’t pay any attention there or just don’t care about what they write! I have been spoiled for Allegiant and Emerald Green and The Mortal Instrument Series within a month, just because I scrolled through some YT-comments. Worst of all, the comments belonged to videos that weren’t even about the spolied book… and the ones who made those comments didn’t even write that there is a spoiler… nope. They just write the end of the book. Yay.

  7. Great post and topic! I was spoiled for Allegiant and so I still haven’t read it. I will rage if I see a spoiler for Ignite Me. I know it happens at times…people can accidently reveal something that they really don’t even realize is a spoiler…or forget. But can’t we all just TRY to not spoil things? I’d not expect to see a major spoiler in a TTT either…so sorry that happened 🙁
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted Interview with Michael O-Artist Behind the Lunar Chronicles Covers+International GiveawayMy Profile

  8. hahhahahahahah this rant was too hilarious!!! So true though, so amen girl! Twitter is probably the worst, I purposely avoid it when it comes to big release dates, definitely trying to avoid any Ignite Me or Cress spoilers at the moment. How successful I’ll be is yet to be seen….
    Chantelle recently posted Discussion: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund HodgeMy Profile

  9. First of all, the Newsroom GIFs? Gold! I so LOVE that show! It’s a shame that they’re coming back for their last season this year 🙁 I expected them to stick around for atleast 5 seasons.

    On spoilers, God, I am so with you on that, girl! Which is why, to be on the safe side, I just never go near review of series, and of books that I know caused some big OMG moment (from Twitter, obviously), because there’re always, ALWAYS spoilers lurking around. I mean, seriously, how inconsiderate a reader would you have to be that you would spoil something for a fellow reader when you know how much it destroys the reading experience?! If I do want to read any reviews, I just quickly browse through those on my friend’s list, because I trust them, and have reasonable faith that they aren’t going to spoil it for me.

    And lol I did the same thing with Allegiant, and now with the whole Shatter Me series, because was waiting to read it when Ignite Me came out, and the spoilers for that series are especially rampant!
    Fahima @ I Read, Ergo I Write recently posted Series I Cant Wait To Binge ReadMy Profile

  10. I basically agree with every single thing you’ve said! Spoilers are sometimes hard to avoid, but in general, I’ve been lucky that I haven’t truly gotten spoiled for any books I’ve wanted to read. (That includes Allegiant too, as I read it months after it’s actual release.) I don’t necessarily mind Goodreads updates (as I can easily ignore those), but spoilers on Twitter will be the death of me :p
    Alexa S. recently posted Meeting David BeckhamMy Profile

  11. Morgan

    YES! This is something that has been bothering me lately! I was watching a book discussion on youtube on Beauty Queens by Libba Bray and the next thing I know I was spoiled on Allegiant, No warning about it at all! People just don’t realize not everyone has read everything!

  12. Just read a spoiler for TFIoS today, on a TTT post!! I mean, I figured that’s what was going to happen, but now I know and I can’t unknow it. I don’t even know if I was going to read TFiOS (hype train much?) but any desire I had is now gone. I’ll just watch the movie.

    Spoilers are easily one of the biggest reasons I hate the internet and social media, which is why I avoid it when something big is going on. I’m only glad I’ve already read Ignite Me, since spoilers for it are in EVERY OTHER TWEET.

    I just…ugh. Why the complete lack of consideration?
    Kelly recently posted Pretty Little Tips: Image Rollover EffectMy Profile

  13. YES TO THIS POST. FREAKING YES.
    Completely agree. Spoilers are actually the worst.
    I can’t believe you got spoilered for the twist in Shadow Kiss! That’s a seriously dog move by that person. Seriously, WTF there are spoiler tags on GR for a reason, mate.

    I’ve been avoiding Twitter completely and ignoring my GR newsfeed since Tuesday because I don’t want Ignite Me and Cress spoilers. Seriously, it’s gotten so bad that I’m almost avoiding my Bloglovin feed in case there are even the smallest hints in reviews :/
    I actually didn’t know about the Mute function in Tweetdeck so thanks for enlightening me! I think I might continue avoiding Twitter though, just in case #superparanoid
    Nara recently posted Discussion: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund HodgeMy Profile

  14. Oh that’s so cool…I had no idea that Tweetdeck has that option to filter out tweets that contain certain content! I usually use just the normal Twitter website when I’m tweeting, but I might start using Tweetdeck more often because of that. I haven’t really come across spoilers in my Twitter feed before, but I think I’m just lucky, because I hear other bloggers complaining about that all the time. I’m HUGELY against spoilers; I really try to go into books without knowing anything — like you, I don’t read book reviews of books that I know I’m going to read in the future, so it’s really disappointing to be spoiled about stuff, even if it’s small. I can’t BELIEVE that somebody spoiled you about Shadow Kiss! That’s so, so mean. I try to keep all of my posts, book reviews, tweets, etc. spoiler-free as much as possible.
    Miranda @ Tempest Books recently posted Do You Read Magazines?My Profile

  15. Twitter is the worst. I don’t get how people sometimes forget that everyone can see their tweets, it’s not a private conversation or anything. I get being excited about the book and wanting to discuss it with someone who has read it too, but like you said, take it somewhere else than Twitter! I’m trying to avoid any Ignite Me spoilers, because I haven’t read the second book yet, so it’s going to be a while before I’m able to read Ignite Me. And I don’t want to know anything!

    That Vampire Academy horror story you shared is awful! Ugh, so annoying. Someone actually spoiled me about the ending of the Unearthly series. Yes, THE ENDING. I’m so mad about that and now I’m not even bothering to finish this series and I hate leaving anything unfinished and just UGH. People should be more wary about what they can or can not say regarding spoilers, because it’s ruining other people’s reading experience.
    Kim @ The Nomadic Book Hoarder recently posted Life of a Blogger: If I could live anywhereMy Profile

  16. YES YES YES YES YES to this times like a million, okay?!

    I’m SO sick of spoilers being posted! It’s like the most uncool thing to do, and that dickhead on goodreads that wrote that epic spoiler sucks balls. I’m the same way about remembering stuff like that FOREVER!! For instance, I read a huge spoiler for The Walking Dead accidentally at the beginning of this season, and it hasn’t happened yet, and I’m freaking out about whether or not it will actually happen but I can’t talk to anyone about it bc then I risk spoiling it for them too! AND MY STUPID BRAIN REFUSES TO FORGET!!! SO frustrating!! I love this post, and I really appreciate you showing what Tweetdeck is and how to use it, because I’m new to twitter and had no idea what it was so thank you tons for that!! <333

    Spoilers, I just can't even….. I can't!

    Thanks for a great post!! I loved it, and agree 100%, Debby!! I'm sorry VA was ruined for you, bc it really is a fantastic series, even though, I love the spin-off series way more!

    xo, Becca
    BECCA @Pivot Book Reviews recently posted Cover Puppies (5) – Alienated by Melissa LandersMy Profile

  17. I HATE SPOILERS.

    Especially when they are on places I don’t expect them. One day, BAM, someone spoilers the ending of Allegiant on Twitter in a random tweet. FUCK THIS SHIT. It’s the reason I still haven’t read it and I was anticipating it.. I agree, if you feel the need to talk about it with someone, just DM them or find a way to talk privately.

    In reviews, it’s not hard to place a warning in your review, or to put it in a spoilertag or whatever. It’s just not necessarily and it ruins my reading experience completely.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted Review 232. Rick Yancey – The 5th wave.My Profile

  18. Awesome topic — I’m a little weird in that if I don’t really care about the book that much, then I will go looking for plot points/spoilers to verify if I should continue or not. But, if a book is totally pulling me in, then spoilers are the worst. If is a good enough book, I can usually get over it though.

    I do like to read what people thought about certain plot points, and I do like to discuss them too, so I try to take care every time that I intentionally talk about spoilery things. I know I don’t share that on Twitter, but now that you’ve reminded me that it links to my Goodreads, I’m suddenly terrified! I really wouldn’t want to ruin something for someone else!

    Good PSA for the day! 🙂
    Anne @ Lovely Literature recently posted Audio vs. the real deal: When do you decide?My Profile

  19. I try to be really careful of spoilers but I fee like sometimes I say things that I don’t realize are spoilers or I don’t consider a spoiler. I’m especially careful in reviews because who wants to have something revealed like that when you are just trying to see if you want to read the book? That to me is almost worse than stumbling upon a spoiler on Twitter. Ignite Me came out recently and I was like peeking through my hands all the time while going through Twitter and Goodreads to make sure the main character’s “choice” of guy wasn’t spoiled for me. I would be so pissed I might not even read the book! OH MY GOSH, the Shadow Kiss thing happened to me, too! Ruined the next book. People are just asdfghjjk sometimes, especially in Goodreads reviews. Great post!
    Alise recently posted Things I Have Found Inside Books (Literally)My Profile

  20. Jasmine Baggenstos

    Ugh, spoilers.
    One of the worst cases I ever had is as follows: so, I’m reading HP for the first time. This is about 4 or 5 years ago now. I was talking to this guy I sort of knew (in the interest of full disclosure, he was kind of socially awkward) about the books and what one I was on and such. I’d already told him I’d never read them before, so what does he decide to do? Tell me about the death of a certain wizard that would happen in the next book. I was seriously pissed.

    And you’re totally right when it comes to being vague. It’s sort of my fault for reading reviews, but also not since spoilers, but I have a very good idea how both Allegiant and Ignite Me end. I’m not 100%, but enough that I still want to put them off until I have a better chance of forgetting.

    • Ooooh, yeah, Harry Potter spoilers are all around. 🙁 I think I know which one you’re talking about, and that’s a sad thing, because that spoiler has been absorbed into pop culture as a teasy thing you can just SAY to ANYONE when talking about HP. *sigh* Basically, I couldn’t imagine going through that series without being spoiled if you didn’t read it right as they were being released. I remember for the seventh book I got it on release day and then locked myself away, no internet AT ALL, until I finished.

      Ugh that sucks! I just read Ignite Me though and writing that review spoiler free was SO HARD. I can imagine that even if you try to be vague, it can be easy to read between the lines. I think I managed to keep it completely vague enough, but I dunno. Especially for the last books in series, I always just think it’s best to stay away from the reviews entirely.

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