Discussion: What are spoilers?

Spoilers are lurking all over the internet and they exist in all shapes and sizes. This is mostly due to the fact that people love dishing the dirt on that one thing that happened in that one book that just turned EVRYTHING around. Everyone can get carried away discussing that book you love so much, especially to your friends who also love reading. Before you know it you’ll be saying this such as “Were you expecting that he would die and then come back as an angel-werewolf type thing?” to someone who isn’t quite at that part of the book yet. And there you have it, a monster spoiler and it’s too late to do anything about it now!

But what is a spoiler? I think people can have varying ideas of what is and what isn’t a spoiler. It’s pretty obvious that huge plot twists or major moments in the story are considered spoilers by everyone in existence. But what about the smaller stuff? How about the fact that this book, in contrast to the previous one in the series, is told from a different perspective? Is that just a fact or would you mind knowing this before you start reading the book? This is definitely something that I started considering a lot more carefully since I started reviewing books. Because I want to keep my reviews as spoiler free as possible (thus more accessible). On more than one occasion this has already lead me to ponder about whether or not I should put something in my review or not.

And to what extent do you dislike spoilers? Is there ever a situation where you don’t mind hearing/reading about a spoiler? Do you ever purposefully go looking for a spoiler? For me it’s definitely not the end of the world if I get spoiled on something, and it’s happened to me quite a lot as well. The thing is that afterwards, when I’m reading the spoiled bit for myself, I always wonder how I would have reacted to that piece of information if I hadn’t know about it. Would I have been more shocked? Would I have fallen in love/hate with the book because of it? Would it just have given me a completely different feeling about the book in general? I’ll never know, and I try not to dwell on it too much, because I’ll never find out.


Have you ever been spoiled on a huge plot twist in a book series? Or even in a film or anything of the like? Do you mind or don’t you really care? How do you deal with spoilers and are you aware if you yourself are spoiling things sometimes?


7 thoughts on “Discussion: What are spoilers?

  1. Oh, goodness me, do I hate spoilers. I was reading reviews on Allegiant on Amazon to see why it received such a horrible rating in comparison to other books, and because one review didn’t have a warning saying there was spoilers, I began to read it and was, obviously, spoiled. Of course, that spoiler made me buy the book because now I want to know what happens to lead up to that. So far, Allegiant is very slow, and the two perspectives between Tris and Tobias have the same voice, but I’m going to keep giving it a go.

    • I actually heard a lot of bad things about Allegiant as well (without being spoiled) but I ended up looking for the spoiler actually because I wanted to know if I wanted to buy the book or not. Because I did enjoy the first two, but what I’ve read of allgiant doesn’t make me want to buy it though… Keep me updated on your thoughs of it after having finished it ;)

  2. You’re so right that there are a lot of different interpretations of spoilers! For me, a spoiler is something major, or something that isn’t immediately obvious in the book. For instance, I might not consider talking about a “surprise” that happens on page 5 of the book a spoiler.

    In my reviews, I try to avoid any “major” spoilers or label ones I do include with a warning. I know some people consider practically any detail a spoiler–but I feel I have to discuss those if I want to write a review worth reading. If I’m too general, my review will make little sense, and all my reviews will sound very similar. I think that visitors to my blog will get a sense of my reviewing style after awhile, and they can decide for themselves if I’m giving too much away for their tastes.

    In general, though, I think a great book will still be good even if you already know the plot. It’s why Shakespeare can get away summarizing his plays before he even begins them, or why we can keep reading books again and again.

  3. I LOOOOOOVE spoilers! I want to know everything that happens beforehand so I know what’s coming and I can mentally prepare for it. (Weird – yes, we all have our quirks.) But, I realized I can enjoy a book more when I’m not constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. (Otherwise, I have to re-read to fully appreciate the book. Though, I usually re-read the books I love anyway.)

    • I sort of have the same problem. It’s when I’m at a really super exciting part of the book, and I just want to know if someone will die or whatever. And it will cause me to start reading more and more diagonally until the exciting part is over. And afterwards I’ll usually go back to see what I missed. And I love re-reading so spoilers don’t bother me at all actually.

  4. You made a very good point! You can only be so vague and still make sense. There comes a point where things will just be very hard to follow if you don’t share certain things. And indeed, once you’re used to that person’s style, you will know for yourself if you find it spoilerish or not.

    And indeed, the really great books still stand tall even if you’ve been spoiled.

    Thanks for your wonderful comment!

  5. Pingback: 2013 in books | Rantings, ravings and ramblings

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