As a reader, I like to be surprised by books. I don’t like having plot twists or ANYTHING spoiled, and that’s kind of tough when you’re on social media because, for some reason, readers (and TV watchers) love to live-tweet the things they’re doing, live-tweet their book. While I have no issue with that, here’s why I’d prefer you didn’t and if you feel like you have to, at least thread the tweet so it doesn’t appear all over my timeline.
I’m a reader who finds the slightest thing a spoiler. Harper Collins UK released Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough with the hashtag #WTFThatEnding which is a brilliant marketing technique for the casual reader, but that meant I went into that book expecting my socks to be blown off (and, to be fair, they were) but I would have preferred even more not to even know about the shock ending, it would have had more of an impact and it kinda feels like authors need these shock twists and spoiler-filled tweets to sell their books and that just isn’t the case. A book should be about *ALL* the words. Not just what happens at the end.
Paige Toon did the same with her latest book The One We Fell In Love With, begging people on social media to not reveal the big twist by revealing the fact there even WAS a twist herself! I know why she did it – so readers wouldn’t spoil the book, but here’s the thing, readers shouldn’t have to be warned about spoiling a book. It would be like me telling you who dies in Mockingjay. Sure, like 90% of the people have read Mockingjay and know who dies, but there’s 10% who haven’t and so for me to tell people that is assuming they have read it and being the worst person in the world when they haven’t.
Anything I see on social media about books people are reading feel like spoilers to me. “WOW what a surprise,” they say, naming the very book surprising them. DO NOT TELL ME. THAT RUINS MY SURPRISE IF I READ THAT BOOK. “Page 456 is heart-breaking,” NO. NO. Even worse is when people talk about books making them cry. DON’T RUIN THAT. A big plot twist with a death or something emotional can be so hard-hitting, but if I’m expecting it it RUINS it. It’s such simple things, but why even do it!
I’m not saying people should just not talk about books on social media, but think about what you’re saying. Yes, that book might have made you cry but don’t tell us which page it was or what book unless we ask, because if I can tell there’s an emotional scene coming it loses its emotional punch, for me at least. I know I’m being unreasonable, but I’m a reading purist, any kind of spoiler (even if it’s not really a spoiler) will lessen my enthusiasm for a book.
It isn’t just book readers who spoil books – I was reading about the Divergent films and some idiot spoiled the ending of Allegiant so I’m like WELL I MAY AS WELL NOT READ IT NOW. People can’t just assume we have all read the most popular books in the world. There are tons! We can’t get to them all. So next time you’re talking about a fantastic book you’re reading, tread carefully. Some of us like to go into stories basically blind so that all the surprises are actual surprises.
What about you? How do YOU feel about spoilers, what do you even CONSIDER to be a spoiler?!?