Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thoughts on Book Bloggers' Spoiler Theory Dilemma

This is something that has annoyed me a lot as a blog follower. See, I'll be browsing the Interwebz looking for new books when I stumble upon a review for this incredible book I've been dying to read for, like, ever. I'll open up the blog page, stare lovingly at the cover, read the synopsis, and then I'll finally take a peek at the good stuff- the review.

And I'm always left a bit upset when I see that there is a spoiler warning in the review. Like, for a review of an ARC or a book that has been released less than two weeks ago, the blogger is posting spoilers in their review. That somehow bugs me a lot. I notice it's a personal thing though- I haven't heard of anyone else finding this very annoying.

I'm not going to tell anyone to blog because who the hell am I to do that, so this spoiling thing left me with a question.

When is it appropriate to post spoilers on a blog? 

This answer depends a lot on the type of blogger you are and the type of blog you have. So there is no real answer. 

For me, I hate seeing spoilers in reviews. A review should inform me about the novel without mentioning the specific content. I know that it's hard though to write a good review without any detail. I've written a lot of awful ones because I didn't know what to say other than mentioning some crazy plot twist, especially if said crazy plot twist defined the book for me. 

I also assume most authors hate to see spoilers of their books if their books are new (I'm not sure about this- confirm in the comments?). I've been spoiled for one of my favourite series before and if you've met me in person you'll know how insane that drives me. I try my best to forget about the spoiler (it was tiny, I read it in a split second before realizing it was something I shouldn't know) but some stuff just sticks with you no matter how much you want to throw it away. 

The thing I'm iffy about is when it comes to discussion posts like this or feature posts. See, the point of a book blog is to talk  write about books. That's kind of hard though if you go by the rule of never spoiling anything ever. I want to talk about all the incredible series I read with the insane plot twists and go in depth and rant and gush and have fun. I'm not sure if I should do that. 

It would make me very sad to ruin someone else's reading experience. I try not to ever spoil, even if people ask me to. At the same time, I'm a little burnt out with talking constantly about new books and debuts in series. Most of what I read are books in the middle of series and it's hard to feature these books because to describe the later books there needs to be some sort background information, which would spoil the books. 

That's my dilemma. (I'm prone to extreme exaggerations, if you haven't noticed already.) 

To spoil or not to spoil- that is the question! When do you think it's okay, or if it is even ever okay to spoil on your blog?


  1. Lots of people hate spoilers. Within our own group, we're split. A couple of us don't care; a couple of us vehemently avoid them. Pretty representative of the general population.

    We do see spoilers on book blogs sometimes, but often they're "hidden" through fancy font/color tricks, or they're called out with asterisks or something so we can quickly scroll past. Like you said, it's sometimes hard to talk about books without TALKING ABOUT BOOKS, haha, so we think those techniques are good compromises.

    It's probably small consolation, but there was a scientific study that showed spoilers don't actually impact our enjoyment of books/movies/etc. Like, we *think* it will, but when measured, our enjoyment is the same (and for some people, even heightened).

    So we're not saying "just get over it" or anything!! We're just trying to offer some small silver lining, hehe.

    In the end, if people want to avoid spoilers, they're welcome to, and bloggers should be respectful of that and give their readers an opportunity to skip over them.

    1. I think that's best, to let people know that there are spoilers ahead. It's a tricky issue. Like you said, everybody feels differently. Thanks for sharing that interesting study. :)

  2. I despise spoilers. But if the person posts a spoiler warning then I'm fine with it. Because I can choose whether to read it or not.

    I agree on a blog I would rather not see spoilers. But rather just get an overview of the book.

    But on goodreads I actually like it when there are spoilers (provided the person clearly states that there is a spoiler). I really like the spoiler/hidden tags. Since I read the reviews on goodreads AFTER reading the book I love to be able to see more in depth thoughts.

    I think book discussions obviously need to include spoilers. If you want to have a book discussion then clearly state that it is a spoiler discussion. I've seen this before and it works.

    1. I love the Goodreads thing! It makes reading a review cool because you can choose what works for you. I think that's probably the consensus, too, if you spoil let people know in advance. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. mmm, I'm not a huge fan of spoilers, but they don't bother me too much. I think it's okay in the case of a series, when someones recapping what's happened in past books, but I think it needs to be mentioned in the review that there will be spoilers just so the reader knows.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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