Discussion Post: Spoilers!

One of my favourite tv shows is the British sci-fi Doctor Who, and two of the best episodes (in my opinion) are from new-series 4, Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead. Not only do these episodes have the creepiest unseen monsters (there are reasons to be afraid of the dark), but they introduce the character River Song. River Song has known the Doctor for years, but this is the first time he is ever meeting her (perils of time travel), and she has a wonderful blue book in which she has written all her past adventures with the Doctor – events that are in his future. As River Song likes to say: spoilers!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I think I would have borrowed that blue book the first chance I got and looked inside. I love spoilers! If I’m watching tv or a movie with someone who has already seen it, I always ask questions about what’s going to happen and really want them to tell me. When I started watching Game of Thrones I googled the plots to the books so I would know who lives and dies. And worst of all, I am ashamed to admit this as a book lover, I read the ends of books. And not just the last page. Often times, the whole last chapter. Or two.

I know, I know! I’m horrible. I just can’t help myself. Sometimes, it’s because I’m not sure if I am enjoying the book and I’ll read some of the end to see if I want to continue reading. Other times, it’s because there are multiple love interests and I want to be cheering for the right guy to end up with the girl. Usually, I’m just curious or anxious and can’t wait for the end. Notable exceptions to my habit of reading the end were Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Mockingjay, and The Dark and Hollow Places as endings of series that I just could not bring myself to ruin, and A Million Suns and Hemlock just as books I was loving and didn’t want to spoil for myself.

I’m entirely sure I picked up this bad habit from my mother, who also reads the ends of books. But she only reads the last page, and it stemmed from her period of Harlequin romance reading when she wanted to make sure the right man won the heroine’s affections. My end-reading is just ridiculous, and has even extended to me reading the ends of books while still in the bookstore. I obviously need a support group. Friends have told me that it takes away all the fun and anticipation to know what happens in the end, but I just say it cuts down on my anxiety! None of them believe me, and actively try to thwart my spoiler obtaining when at all possible.

And so my question is this: how do you feel about spoilers? Is there anyone else out there who genuinely wants to know the answer when you ask “what happens?” Because I sure do. Do you only like spoilers for certain things? Would you ever spoil a book for yourself by reading the ending? Could you just strangle people who say/write/post spoilers? Because no matter how much I love spoilers, I could. Sometimes you just don’t want to know! Right?