Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Let's Talk About Book Spoilers
Book spoilers are a hot topic for book bloggers- with all the blogs out there and Goodreads it can be easy to get spoiled for our favorite books. Katherine at I Wish I Lived in a Library had a great post about this very topic, and it got me thinking. I often write book reviews where I want to talk about the book in depth- and that includes spoilers, because how else can you really get into it? But I don't because most readers don't want the book spoiled. So... what to do?
I also think spoilery reviews are helpful to me if down the road I come back to jog my memory of the book. If I'm just writing in general terms that's not going to help me remember. And let's face it, as book bloggers we read a TON of books- we can't remember it all. Add to that the fact that many bloggers say they don't read reviews anyway until after they're read the book, and I've wondered if I should just review away and add a spoiler tag.
I've also thought about doing two reviews- one spoilery and one not. I did that once with my review of A Dance With Dragons by George RR Martin. It's just too cumbersome though to do that. Then I thought maybe a discussion post about a book, with a spoiler tag- that way people can discuss the book spoilers and the discussion post would be for that.
What do you think? I guess I'm curious to know if people would read a spoilery review or discussion post or if they would just skip it. Let me know what you think!
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I have had separate pages with spoiler reviews if I really want to talk about something. So I write my regular post and have a link to the spoiler page where I talk about the rest.ReplyDelete
That's a good way of doing that. I may have to try something like that.Delete
I totally get what you mean! Sometimes I just want to talk about all the spoilers. But I make my reviews spoiler free which is hard sometimes. I know with the plug in I have I can add the spoiler button so it will hide the spoiler and only show up if the reader clicks on it. That kid of helps. Great post!ReplyDelete
I know, it can be tough! I go back and look at the review and I'm like, I didn't really talk about the most important stuff. lol I may have to use the spoiler alert more often, I've done that too but only a fw times.Delete
It depends on the book and how much is going on. If everything I want to talk about in a book is spoilery than I just put at the top that there will be spoilers. Other than that I try not to but like you said looking back those reviews don't help me remember what happened.ReplyDelete
That's a good way. If it's going to be a particularly spoilery review I could just tag it that way, and if there's only one spoiler maybe I could just hide it with a spoiler. But yeah I've looked back at reviews and with only general notes I don't always remember those little spoilery details. :)Delete
It can be SO HARD to write a review where you want to discuss spoiler aspects but you don't want to ruin a good twist (or twists) for someone at the same time! Some people do a spoiler section at the end with HUGE warnings that there are spoilers beyond that point. I like that because if I read the book, I want to talk spoilers but if I haven't, I can still read their thoughts on it! Great post Greg^^ :)ReplyDelete
I know it, I feel the same way. Doing spoilers at the end is a great idea, I think I've done that once or twice- I wonder now why I haven't done that more! That would seem to solve the problem. Either that or a discussion post marked as spoilery- I'll have to do that!Delete
I am a newish blogger, so I haven't actually put this into practice yet, but my plan is to keep my Reviews spoiler free (since I cross-publish them on other sites where it isn't easy to hide them). I will then do Discussions either instead of/in addition to if I really want to talk freely. I haven't decided if I will do individual book discussions or group several around some sort of theme.ReplyDelete
That's a great idea, and I may do the same. Keep my reviews spoiler free and do spoilery discussions if a certain book warrants it. And welcome to blogging!Delete
Good question, Greg! The way I see it, there are two types of reviews: the review for people who haven't read the book, and the in-depth discussion/analysis for people who have. As long as you clearly label the latter as containing spoilers, I think you're covered.ReplyDelete
As for wanting to remember details for yourself, Goodreads has a place at the bottom of the review form for "private notes" that won't be seen by anyone but you. I've used that from time to time, particularly for books in series where I thought something would be important but I might not remember it. For Wordpress bloggers, the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin also has a field for stuff you want to remember but don't want to show in the review.
I think that's a good way to do it, I've been thinking about it and looking at responses and I think a separate spoilery discussion post is the way to go, if a particular book calls for it. I didn't know that about Goodreads, I had no idea. :)Delete
I generally don't include spoilers in my reviews because I don't like to be spoiled if I do choose to read a review before reading a book. However, if I can't avoid discussing a spoiler in a review, I'll just add a disclaimer. Nice discussion post!ReplyDelete
Yeah I've done that too, used a spoiler tag a few times, but it seems like more and more I want to talk spoilers! So maybe a discussion post is the way to go, or just block out the spoilery parts of the review. Thanks for sharing!Delete
I actually read a lot of reviews for books I haven't read yet and they can help me decide whether to read a book or not, so I rather not see spoilers in reviews. or have them clearly marked as spoilers.ReplyDelete
I do agree that about some in depth things you can't talk unless you use spoilers. And sometimes it's hard to talk on blogs about books in depth because of that. I did enjoy about your star wars spoiler discussion post, but I also knew I shouldn't read it until I had seen the movie. So I do think that spoilers reviews can be nice, as long as you mark it clearly it has spoilers so everyone is aware of that.
But personally I won't use them in my reviews, I just try and be cryptic and discuss things without going into details.Although sometimes for later books in a series it's hard to review them without spoilers for the previous books, but I think that's normal and which is why I am often more careful reading reviews for later books. Great post!
I do that too, sometimes reviews help me decide whether a book is for me or not. And lately I've decided against a few books based on reviews. So I'm glad for em! I do feel a desire to talk spoilery about some books, so I just have to decide whether to block out spoilers or do a separate post. I'm leaning towards a discussion post with a spoiler tag.Delete
Thanks for commenting on the Star War discussion, I saw that and was glad you jumped in after seeing the movie. Stuff like that is fun to talk about with fellow fans. :)
The spoiler issue is so complex! I'm fretting about one thing that happens in a book that I'm reading now because I think it could be an issue for some readers. I love a spoilery review too and very rarely do spoilers ruin the book for me. If a review has a spoiler button or section I always read it because I want to know! Great post!ReplyDelete
It is. The longer I blog the more I want to get in depth and spoilery about some books (with people who've read them of course) so I may go with an occasional discussion post and just mark it as spoilery. You're right, it can be hard sometimes to know what to share. I'm the same way, spoilers don't bother me as much (I always hit the spoiler tag) especially with movies, I always want to know. lolDelete
Sometimes I read reviews before reading the book to help me figure out if I should read it or not. But other times I read reviews after the book to see what other people thought about everything. So I absolutely have nothing against spoilers in reviews AS LONG AS THEY'RE MARKED. That way people can make their own choices about whether to read them or not.ReplyDelete
For my own reviews, it's just a case-by-case basis. If I have something I really want to say that involves a spoiler, then I say it and include the spoiler tag. But if I don't feel a strong need to say anything spoiler-y, then I don't go out of my way to go in-depth. But I have a way of hiding spoilers on my blog, and obviously GR has the spoiler tag. I usually remove the spoilers for Amazon.
For me, the gray area is for books that are later in a series. Should you include/show things that might spoil earlier books? Before I started blogging, I'd have said yeah, anyone reading those reviews has already read the earlier books! But now I realize that's not true, that many of us do read reviews for later books in series that we haven't read. So if I feel it's important enough, I'll hide it, usually with a note that it's only a spoiler if you haven't read the previous books.
I do that too. I like reading reviews of something I've read to see other people thoughts. Sometimes it makes me view what I read differently. And I definitely use reviews to make decisions on what to read- I had a book on my TBR for months and by the time it came out some reviews had convinced me to skip it, which I did.Delete
I've used spoiler tags a few times, but not very often. I think if it's a mild spoiler or just one I'll do that, but if I'm going to go in depth and talk the heck out of it I'll do a discussion.
That's a good point. I think for later books I would still be careful, like you do- you just never know where someone is at- and mark it as spoilery, but I can see that being iffy.
I'll read a spoilery review IF I've read the book or had no intention of reading it. I do post a disclaimer if there is no possible way for me to avoid spoilers in a review, but generally I'm pretty decent at not giving things away. (Or at least I hope). It gets harder with later books in a series and there are times I'll put disclaimers on those it I have to talk about a major event from the previous books...but usually I don't.ReplyDelete
I try to avoid spoilers, so I know what you mean. You're right, it can be hard when you're farther along in a series and don't want to give away something that happened earlier on. Sometimes it's hard for me to write a review with no spoilers because I WANT to talk about spoilers- but I guess a discussion post w/a spoiler tag is the place for that.Delete
To be honest, I actually love spoilers! Before I buy books, I always read a review of it and sometimes I even look for spoilers from said book. Spoilers help me decide whether I'll love the book or not, so that way I could save my money from buying a book I'll dislike. When I write a spoiler-y review, though, I'll give a warning or hide it in a spoiler tag, so people won't be mad at me for spoiling things :) Anyway, great post!ReplyDelete
I don't mind spoilers, and when it comes to movies for example I often seek them out because I just can't wait. lol So I understand. That's a great point, sometimes knowing a spoiler or more about a book saves money if it's something we won't like!Delete
I don't do spoilery reviews because, if you think about it, most people are reading them to see if they want to read a book. I think a warning at the beginning of a blog review (like I do with sequel reviews for spoilery things about the previous books) is fine, but on Goodreads, where you can see things at a glance, I say use the spoiler brackets, or be damned to a fiery hell! Ha ha. I think what would be better, if a person can't figure out how to do the review thery want is to make it an analytical/discussion post, with a trumpeted BEWARE SPOILERS at the beginning. I was spoiled on the day after publication for Ruin and Rising from a comment on a blogger's non-spoiler review. The way it was worded I think the person was going around to all the reviews and posting the spoiler. I still have not read the book. I was also spoiled on Goodreads for the BIG THING in Allegiant when I was only 20% into the book, by a person I used to (and I stress used to) follow because the spoiler showed up in my homefeed as a progress update comment they made while reading the book. Their excuse was they "forgot" because they were so upset. That excuse didn't cut it with me. I was so upset that the last 80% of the book had been ruined for me, I cried. :'(ReplyDelete
Sorry to hea you were spoiled, that is no fun. :( I totally understand. Remind me not to spoil you on Goodreads ha ha. Seriously though I agree, I thin a discussion post we/a spoiler tag is the way I'll go. This discussion seems to confirm that. It's good to see how people feel about it.Delete
oh I didn't know that many bloggers don't read reviews until after they're read the book! I usually WON'T read a book unless I have read a few reviews first. I don't think spoilery reviews bother me. :) Unless they spoil a big plot twist or the end.ReplyDelete
I'm that way too- I WANT to know about a book beforehand. After all it's money spent, right? And lately I've even decided not to read a book based on reviews, and glad I found out beforehand. I don't mind spoilers as much as some folks do, but I do try to avoid spoiling in my posts.Delete
I don't like reviews with big spoilers, but if it's something small or something early on in the book I'm okay. I would rather a discussion post though. That would be cool for everyone eho has read the book to discuss it and people who haven't can avoid it till later after they've read the book. I would rather reviews be as spoiler free as possible though.ReplyDelete
I think discussion posts are a good way to go , and the more I've thought about it the more I think that's the tack I'll take. That seems to work. :)Delete
I simply mark the spoiler. Honestly that is very important to me. With books/movies/Tv shows. If I didn't watch Game of Thrones live or Walking Dead live I will avoid social media until I do see it. Being spoiled just sucks. This week on Monday night I didn't watch Dancing With the Stars live (I like to read while it's on) and next thing I know I get on social media RIGHT after it ended and was spoiled on who was voted off. It was that fast. Just disappointing. I'm the type of person though who will avoid a book review till I've read the book just to avoid spoilers. Some people don't care I suppose about spoilers. It's your blog though so you should review how you want to.. whatever is fun for you.ReplyDelete
We all have different thresholds for what constitutes a spoiler, too. For me, "the plot twist at the end left me gasping!" is a super obtrusive spoiler. If it's a twist, I want it to jump out and shock me! Thus, I'm one of those people who only reads reviews AFTER I've read the book. This influences how I write reviews. If I'm writing a review for my blog, I try to keep it a bit more formal as well as spoiler free, but I do tend to discuss ideas rather than summarize.ReplyDelete
I started using Goodreads for tracking and remembering my own reading LONG before I started book blogging, so my reviews there tend to make heavy use of the spoiler button, and tend to not summarize or even analyze very much. I just jot down my thoughts and responses.
I generally don't like spoilers, but like you said, sometimes you can't even write a coherent review without them, and I also like to go back and read spoilers from a first book before I read the second. So I think that as long as spoilers are clearly marked, it's fine to post them. The thing that always gets me is when the blogger is trying SO hard to be spoiler-free, says so in their review, and then someone writes a big old spoiler in the comment section! There's definitely a place for spoilers, but I think the best way is just to alert people to their presence and then let the person decide! (Though, in my experience, most people end up reading the spoiler! I do not- but most of my readers seem to, because they tell me so!)ReplyDelete
I try really hard to avoid spoilers, but it is a pain. Sometimes I end up with a very short review because I can't properly talk about the book without giving away spoilers. I've found this is especially true for psychological thrillers, which I love. It's really aggravating, so I've considered using a spoiler tag or doing two posts for each book too. I still don't really know what to do. The idea someone had for adding spoilers at the end with warnings sounds like a good idea, so I may try that. I have been making my own notes that only I can see, but it would be so nice to be able to really discuss the books in depth wit other people. Great discussion post!ReplyDelete
It's hard. But in the end I think you should do it the way you feel like it. So if you want to write a review with spoilers than do it and just tag it in the subject line accordingly and at the start of the post.ReplyDelete
This is something I struggle with as well.ReplyDelete
I recently posted a review for 'The Girl With All The Gifts' that I didn't want to spoil at all because I went into it knowing nothing but the review is pretty vague and I was basically rambling about nothing. On the other hand, I think I may add a little too much to most of my reviews. Not the big moments but still a bit of everything. Before I started blogging, writing reviews to remember the book in the future was how I did things. It's hard to avoid doing that now, especially if it's a book in a series and I know I'm going to forget things before the next book comes out.
Then again, I have no problem with spoilers. They will not keep me from reading something. Just because someone spoils that so and so died at the end does't phase me. There's more to the story and I want to read the entire thing, not just the end. Being spoiled on one little thing doesn't ruin the whole story for me so I will still read it if I really want to.
I know, sometimes I feel like my reviews are so general am I really saying anything lol? Yeah I liked it go read it ha ha. So yeah ideally I would include spoilers both to help me remember and to really talk about the book, but of course that doesn't work for most folks. So I think I'll go with discussions when I really want to talk about a book in depth.Delete
I'm with you though, spoilers don't bother me as much as they do some people.
I like the idea of doing a discussion post of a book when you want to really discuss it in depth. For example, I really want to talk about All the Bright Places, but I can't review it because it's too emotional for me, but I think I could write a discussion post about it - and it would be nice to hear others' opinions.ReplyDelete
A spoiler tag might be good, though? I try to always write reviews as spoiler free as possible - so that anything that's in the first quarter of the book is ok to talk about but after that, just vague ideas and opinions?
It's tricky, but yeah. I'd say spoiler tags and discussion posts are pretty cool ideas :)
I do too, I think I'm going to do discussion posts for when I really want to talk about a book in depth. Yes I may include spoilers w/a tag in the occasional review, but for in depth I'll go with a discussion. And those should be fun!Delete
I think you got a lot of great advice in these comments and I agree with them all. I think, as long as you mark the spoilers really clearly or mark a discussion really clearly as having spoilers, that works great!ReplyDelete
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction