Let’s start with a general, all-round statement I’m sure everyone can agree with: SPOILERS SUCK. Big time.
Spoilers in books are not only annoying because you can’t experience them for yourself, so it reduces the excitement, but it also means that you see foreshadowing everywhere. For example, I know what happens in the final book of a trilogy by Veronica Roth, Allegiant. I found this out after reading book 1, Divergent, so throughout the whole of Insurgent I was seeing foreshadowing. Everywhere. And I had to force myself to read the book. (I still haven’t read book 3.)
Spoilers can range from anything from telling someone that a character is not in the sequel (happened to me today and ugh), to telling someone which character dies or how the bad guy is defeated.
A simple thing to do if you know spoilers is: DON’T SHARE THEM. I mean, if someone asks you to tell them or you are sharing in a private chat, then by all means, go for it. But if you put them on the internet, or in a group chat, without saying they are spoilers (so people don’t read them), then you’re bound to get a little bit of angry backlash.
If YOU are trying to avoid spoilers, here are some tips from yours truly:
- Avoid the internet. Easy. (Ha.)
- Avoid a section of the internet. Perhaps easier. By this I mean you don’t have to necessarily avoid Instagram, but you might want to stay off Twitter as much as possible until you’ve read the book. Even just staying off the hashtag until you’ve read it helps.
- Read the book ASAP. Yay! You get to read the book AND join in with early discussions!
Other than those, there’s no easy way to suggest how you can avoid spoilers. I’ve just been skipping over all reviews of books that I don’t want to be spoiled for, asking for no spoilers if it comes up in a discussion, and trying to avoid any internet discussions about it!
So, my thoughts on spoilers are be courteous and not spoil stuff without tagging it first. If you’re trying to avoid spoilers, there’s not much you can do but scroll tentatively and hope for the best.
And my final thoughts: as for when spoilers are deemed okay to post, I think it depends on the book. Everyone (or at least most people) know that Elizabeth and Darcy marry. Not everyone knows who dies in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but spoilers about a book that has been out for this long is to be expected. However, for a book like Empire of Storms which came out 11 days ago, posting spoilers without tagging them as spoilers is probably not acceptable in the general bookish internet world.
Personally, I would always tag spoilers if I posted about them (but I don’t tend to, so this isn’t really a problem for me). Otherwise, I’d probably wait for a couple of months and then post about them. If I post spoilers in my reviews, I always make sure I alert my readers beforehand though, even if the book is a decade or so old!
So tell me your thoughts on spoilers. Have you ever been spoiled before? What’re your tips for avoiding them? When do you think it’s socially acceptable to post spoilers? Let me know in the comments below!