Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @ Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @ Book Nook Bits where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each others’ posts. Today is a Choose Your Own Adventure Day, so the topic I picked from the LTB archives is Is there a time limit on spoilers?
If a book has been out for 20+ years, it’s pretty impossible to discuss without spoilers for those who haven’t read it. What’s the time limit? A month? A year? Five years? Never?
I think everyone can agree that spoilers are the worst, whether it be for books, movies or tv shows. But I believe there is a time after which discussing spoilers is more acceptable. With books, I feel that this time limit is longer as not everyone may read a new book as soon as it’s released for various reasons such as needing to wait for library holds (which can take months for the really popular books), or not having the time to actually sit down and read it, or maybe the book isn’t even available to a reader where they live until a later date. Spoilers are definitely not ok at any point before the book is released and certainly not immediately after either. Taking all this into account, I usually avoid sharing spoilers for new books until around 3 months after release, and consciously mark any spoiler content in my reviews for any book that was released within the last year or so, and even after that if I can manage it.
I would never spoil a story for someone whom I know wants to read a certain book of course, and there’s really no time limit where discussing books in conversation is concerned, but there is a point after which the burden of avoiding spoilers falls to the reader rather than the reviewer. It’s the exact reason why, every time there is a book I know I am very excited for and is highly anticipated, I make sure I get my hands on it within a month of the release date, and put in the effort to avoid spoilers if I can’t read it immediately (basically, I don’t look at any social media feeds related to it). If I’m picking up an older book, I know I’m taking the risk of running into spoilers by going into the reviews.
There are classics that have been out for literally hundreds of years and there’s no reason to hold back from discussing the ending of Pride and Prejudice or Romeo and Juliet – or even Harry Potter, because the twists, and endings of these books are just so well known in popular culture that most people who haven’t read them can probably tell you what happens, so it’s unreasonable to expect that people consciously avoid spoilers for them.
Of course, there will always be a new audience for every book, classic or otherwise, a generation that didn’t grow up with Harry Potter and are reading it for the first time, and for that, spoiler warnings are just the nice thing to do and it doesn’t take that much effort either.
Do you think there is a time limit on spoilers? Share your thoughts in the comments below!