To Spoil or Not To Spoil?

Posted April 30, 2010 by Jen in Tags:

I read a tweet earlier today by my buddy Marq, @Love2Read4Fun, that said she was going to go home, open her new copy of Lover Mine by J. R. Ward, and read the end. *GASP*
My next door neighbor does the same thing. She always will read the last chapter of a new book first.  Her reasoning is that not knowing how a book ends stresses her out and she cannot enjoy the book. So she finds out the ending and enjoys the ride getting to the final point.  
I liken this method of reading a book to secretly opening your Christmas presents before Christmas morning. Then you rewrap the gift and wait until Christmas to open the gift again.  Where is the fun in that? When I told my neighbor that, she replied “I do that.” 
Based on my limited observations, I’ve realized that there are two kinds of people in the world: those that enjoy surprises and don’t like spoilers AND those that like to control the situation by finding out the end result.  Kind of like the pregnant woman finding out the sex of her unborn child or waiting until the baby is born. (For the record: I waited both times.)  
I am one that waits. I rarely like spoilers and depending on the book series or show, I can get really uptight about precursor knowledge. An example of a series that I must go into completely spoiler-free is Black Dagger Brotherhood – I don’t want to read a review before I read books from that series. I don’t even want to hear someone say “I really liked it!” or “I was disappointed.” Because that will taint my reading experience.
Why do I like to wait? Why do I avoid spoilers? I think it’s because I like surprises. Also, I enjoy trying to figure out things on my own. The whole time I read a book or watch a TV show or movie, I am constantly trying to figure out who did it? or why were we made privy to a certain piece of information? I blame it all on LOST – that show has ruined me for everything else. That show is so full of “Easter eggs” and misdirections, that I am always on my toes. I thrive on figuring out what is going to happen next. I have so many theories about that show…  And I get a rush out of guessing correctly. That “I knew it!” feeling is incredible for me.
So I ask… What kind of person are YOU? Do you enjoy knowing what’s going to happen ahead of time? Do you prefer to wait and see? Are you like that just for books/movies/TV or in real life too?


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7 responses to “To Spoil or Not To Spoil?

  1. I admit I like to read the end of the book and I did try to peek at my presents when I young. It makes my life easier and I agree I like to see how they got from point a to point b. Heck yes with books..Movies –No
    For the record I found out all 5 times with my kids.I wanted to know if my guess was right.

  2. I love spoilers, lol. It doesn’t keep me from enjoying the book or the journey but I like teasers and sometimes I like to know where we’re headed 😛

  3. As much as I need to be in control of all aspects in my life and always want to know everything (control freak and curiosity killed the cat are accurate in describing me) these are not traits in me when it concerns my reading. I heartily dislike (not to say HATE) spoilers. Want to experience everything as it goes and firsthand with the books I read!

  4. Yes – My name is Marquetta and I like spoilers! I hate surprises. I hate when a movie or book doesn’t end the way I want. So to have control over how I feel about it, I will read the ending and look up the ending online. I don’t know when or how I became this way. I just know that when I start reading a book, I’ll flip to the last chapter and start skimming it. I can’t enjoy the book unless I do that. Which makes reading a book on my Kindle extremely difficult. I have yet to skip to the back on my Kindle (mainly because I haven’t quite figured it out without losing the page I’m on). But once I figure it out, I’ll be skipping to the back for my Kindle books also.

  5. Isn’t it funny that we each have our quirks regarding spoilers and/or information regarding something in general?! I really have no set rules, but there are somethings I want to know ahead, somethings I’ll except hearing about and other times/things that I absolutely do not want to know! But I also love giving spoilers away to people that want them after I’ve read/seen the book/movie.

    Pearl: I’m totally a TYPE-A person and am a planner by profession, and it amazes folks that I don’t like spoilers so I can “plan” things.

    Marq: I can help you with bookmarking, note taking and jumping around Kindle. It’s quiet fun once you get the hang of it.

  6. I always wait. I can relate to wanting to figure things out or enjoying the mystery in suspense. In fact, I can’t even watch an entire movie trailer because it gives too much away! My worst Christmas was accidentally stumbling upon a stash of gifts as a child. When opening gifts I had to act surprised, delighted and astonished. (-and I’m a really bad liar!)

    Professionally: I have to hyper-plan to be ready for the chaos that ensues later. Planning 1-5 years ahead of time is normal.

  7. I like spoiling with tv programs, but I’ve become a reformed reader and no longer read the ending first. I have an Aunt who swears she can tell if a book will be good or bad by the ending-if it’s a bad ending, she won’t bother with the rest of it. 🙂