Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cue River Song

As a reader who is passionate about her fandoms, characters, books, worlds, and authors, spoilers drive me nuts. Like make me Incredible Hulk angry until I crash and stare at a wall while crying drive me nuts. From a reading standpoint, spoilers are right up there with ebook pirates as far as reading peeves go (both are worse than love triangles and I’m sure all my reading friends know just how much I loathe those).

Why do spoilers bother me so much? Well, first you have to understand how wonderful a reading experience can be. I imagine I don’t have to explain that too much to our audience here at Across the Board, but it’s another life to be lived. When a character hurts, I hurt. When a character falls in love, so do I. The emotions and feelings, triumphs and tribulations are just as much a part of me as they are for the characters involved, following me long after I’ve closed the book. So when someone spoils something, it’s like a punch through the gut, robbing me of the raw emotions of experiencing it myself while reading. Often times I’m more devastated at the loss of that experience than I am over whatever the spoiler was.

I am currently reading Game of Thrones, book one of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. [Insert understanding for why I’ve chosen this particular topic to blog about.] I am not currently watching the show, though I have seen the first few episodes of season one. I am nowhere near where the show currently is, but I’ve seen spoilers posted in plain sight with no warning whatsoever of the impending spoiler (thank you, Facebookers). Not only does that have the potential to ruin the show for people, but it also has the potential to ruin the book experience for readers, whether or not the show directly follows the book. Now, if you’ve read A Song of Ice and Fire, you know that George R.R. Martin takes you on quite the rollercoaster ride, thus creating one hell of an emotional experience (the Baron is a few books ahead of me and I can’t even put into words the agonizing sounds he makes while reading). This just makes Game of Thrones spoilers doubly rough with two very different experiences being ruined.

I can also say there are books I haven’t read at all because they were spoiled and I have yet to get over being robbed of the emotional value behind the book. For example, Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I was looking up something that was posted a few years ago when Divergent came out and BAM! Someone had gone back and commented the ending RIGHT THERE. I swear I almost threw up and it had nothing to do with the actual spoiler. It was because, well, what’s the point of reading it now that I know what happens? The whole experience would be ruined. I’d no longer be biting my nails, feverishly devouring every word while hanging on the edge of my seat, needing to know what happened next. Because I already knew. *sigh*

Because my reading friends know me so well, one of my best friends shared this video with me. It’s a fantastic conclusion to my spoiler post.

Do spoilers bother you? Have any books been ruined for you because of spoilers and did you read/finish reading the book? I’m sure this goes without saying, but please, no spoilers in the comments ;)


Stephen Kozeniewski said...

I spoiled ASOIAF for myself. I was reading the books and checking something on the wiki and I came across a post on the "Red Wedding." (Mind you, this was years before all the outrage over the TV show.) And I clicked on it thinking it was something historical to Westeros. Nah. It wasn't historical.

Brianna Lebrecht said...

I don't know the specifics of this wedding yet, but I do know the Baron, my brother, and my brother-in-law cry like fangirls while yelling, "The wedding!" I imagine I'll have plenty of thoughts once I get there.

Jonathan Schramm said...

Oh, Brianna. I totally feel you. I'm actually reading A Dance With Dragons right now (or trying to), but I made the mistake of watching Game of Thrones Season 5 and now I'm just not motivated. This is a different situation, since I kind of spoiled it for myself, but still feel ya! Glad you're reading the series. I will not spoil any of it for you, but when Cersei... jk, lol! Great post!

Carrie Beckort said...

Great post! I don't like spoilers, but my obsession with finishing every book I start (with the exception of the two I just couldn't force myself complete...) trumps my annoyance. If I'm reading/watching something that is popular in my social media feeds then I just stay off them until I'm caught up - it's difficult, but priorities! I also try to read minimal reviews of a book until after I finished. I'll read just enough of the reviews to let me know if I should add it to my list. As an author, it's always hard when I see someone has posted a review with a spoiler. I'm always grateful for any review, but my heart goes out to my future readers.

Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

As an author, I hate it when readers spoil the writing in reviews. There's nothing I can do about it, but it kiiiillllllssss me.

Great post, Brianna!

Brenda St John Brown said...

I just posted a comment and I don't think Blogger even liked it :) I read the end by the time I'm 30% done with a book almost every time. Only with paper books b/c the whole location thing on my Kindle drives me nuts, but yeah... I find it actually increases my enjoyment of the book b/c if I don't know the end, I'm reading so fast and feverishly, I miss the details. Reading the end when I'm just getting into the throes of the story helps me savor it more. People are always appalled when I admit this (especially as a writer), but it works for me. Also, to everyone reading GoT, I'm in awe. I've started the series more times than I can count and it doesn't work for me. Maybe b/c it's on my Kindle and I can't skip ahead??

Great post, Brianna!

Tara said...

I am not a fan of spoilers at all! If there is a movie, tv show, or book that has something that could be "spoiled" I approach all social media as if it is a basilisk, with my eyes open just a tiny sliver, until I know all is clear. I am also not one to "give things away" easily. If it's a tv show or movie and someone wants to know what happened, I can be persuaded to tell, but if it's regarding a book... forget it. I will tell people to read the book themselves if they want to know until my dying breath. If something it spoiled for me... well I really take it on a case by case basis.

Kristen said...

I hate spoilers, especially if they're in reviews and aren't marked. There have been times when I couldn't read a book or series because of that; the reviews completely ruined it for me. (I'm looking at you, Divergent Trilogy). It's completely unfair when people do that :(.

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