Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Here's the thing about spoilers *no spoilers*

I hate surprises. Absolutely can't stand them. I've often considered what this says about me and here's what I think: 1) With surprises, comes the fact that other people know more about what's going to happen to you than you do. I'm a control freak so I loathe being out of the loop b/c it means other people have more information than I do and that doesn't sit well with me. 2) I feel like I'm that person who hates secrecy in general. Most surprises are shrouded in secrecy and deception. I've often found myself on the receiving end of many surprises that came with equal parts boldface lies and half-truths. 3) What's the point to surprises anyway? If an event (say a surprise birthday party) is truly unexpected, it would be just as surprising to the recipient to learn about it weeks in advance as it would be when people jump out from behind living room furniture - and far less likely to induce heart failure. To me, a book ending is just another surprise - one which many people know about and that gives them an unfair advantage over me.

Back to my original point, which I have yet to state: almost nothing I read is a complete surprise because I almost always spoil the ending for myself. This fact draws the ire of many serious readers. ("What do you mean you read the last pages of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows before you read the first chapter?!" "You googled the ending before you finished Mockingjay?!" "We're not friends anymore.") But the funny thing about spoiling book endings for myself is that even when I know with relative certainty how a book is going to end, especially if the ending is tragic and heart-wrenching, I still hope until the very last pages that all of the internets is wrong. A character may be hurtling to a certain death, of which I may or may not know the details, and I still turn each page hoping for a different outcome.

I guess the purpose of this post is to say that while I spoil books for myself, it doesn't mean that I don't enjoy them. I may know the final destination, but the journey is still every bit as exciting. Everyone reads differently and I just so happen to be an adept googler who knows the ending before I become acquainted with the beginning. I don't spoil anything for anyone because that would be just as distasteful to me as someone willfully withholding information from me and that's just not how I roll.

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