Standing On My Soapbox: Why Do I Spoil Myself?

And no, I don’t mean spoiling as in buying myself too many books. Though I do that too. What I mean is spoiling the end of books for myself.

I do this ALL THE TIME. Not just for books, but for movies and tv shows too. But, since this is a book blog, I’ll stick to the books. And I wish I felt awful, and would even try to change my habits, but I just can’t. Why do I actively spoil endings for myself, you may ask. Well, after some thought, and asking myself that same question, I have a few reasons for you. Three, to be exact.

1. I like to know things. 

Heck, I need to know things. It’s a control issue. I don’t like going into anything blind: whether its my plans for the day, my weekend, even dinner! I like having everything laid out, in a list, on a calendar. Something. When stuff is in order, I feel so much better.

When it comes to books, I like knowing what I’m coming up against. Am I going to be angry? What if I’m crying? Am I going to be so engrossed that I need to make sure I have a solid four hours to read and not pick a day where I have an actual deadline or a shift at work? This determines if I’ll need a pillow to punch, a box of tissues, or my comfy pants on.

2. Knowing the ending will help me judge when I read the book.

Like I said above – I need to know how much time this will take. If I’m about to get totally sucked into a story, the last thing I need is to have to stop right in the middle because I have to go to work! It doesn’t bode well for me, ever. I’m always half in reality, half in my book. It leads to a half-minded Kayla, which doesn’t work so well when I’m dealing with patients. BUT, if I know that it’s not too engrossing, I can pick it up and put it down when I need to, and be completely satisfied in having to return a few hours later.

3. I have poor impulse control.

Give it to me now

This one speaks for itself. I see a spoiler, I need to read it. I have zero self control when it comes to spoilers, even when I actually want to stay unspoiled. I just see the word and I’m like – I have to. I can’t even control it. Before I know it, I’ve clicked on the link, read the spoiler, and formed an opinion. And then refer to options 1 and 2. This whole impulse thing goes hand in hand with my habit of buying books even though I know I won’t read them any time soon, and that I have a million books already waiting for me.

Your Opinion: 

Do you spoil books for yourself? Do you do it by choice or by some unknown force that drags you there? How do you feel about untagged spoilers? 

27 thoughts on “Standing On My Soapbox: Why Do I Spoil Myself?

  1. I spoil books for myself sometimes too. Usually though it’s when I’m not really into the book and I want to see if it’s worth it to get to the end. Or in some cases it’s because I’m really into the book and I’m not happy with the direction it’s taking and I JUST HAVE TO KNOW if it turns out okay. I’m trying to cut down on the second one happening but, like you said, poor impulse control lol

    • I’m so guilty of the second one. Probably 90% of the time, now that I think about it 😛 But I forgot about the first example! I totally do that too. Sometimes if it’s an iffy book, the ending will determine if I read more or not.

  2. I haven’t made a habit out of spoiling books, but back when I was reading Seven Deadly sins Volume 3 by Robin Wasserman, I kept skimming ahead since I was more interested in Adam and Harper’s relationship than what was going on with characters like Beth.I did go back once my curiosity was satisfied, rest assured

  3. While I understand the impulse to read spoilers like you do, especially if I’m reading a review on Goodreads and there’s a spoiler link (so hard not to click them!), I’m almost always disappointed in myself for giving in. I don’t like spoiling books for myself. I understand all of your points and agree with them to some extent, like knowing whether you’ll get sucked into a book and will need to set aside a few hours for a book, but I usually find that reading spoilers makes a book predictable for me, and having that sense of anticipation throughout the read tends to ruin the experience. 😦

    • I actually like seeing the end sometimes, because then there’s the excitement of “how did they get to that point?” Especially if it’s an ending I don’t expect at all – then I’m left scrambling to connect all the dots.

      Although you are right – knowing everything takes out the fun of watching for foreshadowing and everything 🙂

  4. I just can’t bring myself to do it. I love being surprised. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work out so well when it comes to shows, movies or books that have been out for a long time. In that case, I have to live like a hermit until the story is finished so people won’t accidentally ruin things for me.

    • That might be another thing – I’m behind on so many shows and books that most of the major spoilers are common knowledge nowadays. And since they’re older, no one tags them as spoilers anymore. Makes it hard to be surprised!

      Though I could definitely work on my restraint for newer books like Allegiant and Champion. I still haven’t spoiled myself for Champion! I’m quite proud of that fact 😀

  5. I do this ALL THE TIME. Not for stand-alone novels, but definitely for series conclusions. And, surprisingly, I don’t think it makes much of a difference because I often don’t even GET the ending until I get to the end…like there is no impact that first time and after that, when I do finally get to it after having read the rest of the book, I’m blown away and appreciate it a lot more. (Or vice versa!) Anyway, you’re not the only one, no worries! 😉

    • Oh that’s true! Knowing the end is just like knowing a simple fact – you can’t do much with it. But when you actually see the ending in practice and how it meshes with everything else, that’s when the emotional impact comes in. Great point!

  6. I can’t spoil myself, I’ll be so sad if I do. I was almost angry in The Book Thief when Death tells you straight up at some point who is going to die. I’m like, “SERIOUSLY?! WHY ARE YOU SPOILING ME?!” But it’s the way the book works, so after my initial anger I decided to accept it. But otherwise no, I can’t.

  7. HAHAHA oh I never knew you did this! XD As for me, I don’t spoil books for myself, as in AT ALL. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, especially with the reasons you enumerated, but in my case, they don’t really apply 🙂 I think the one thing I can’t stand to imagine for myself is knowing what happens in a book before I’m actually supposed to get there. And when I do, by accident, I always feel as if there would have been more suspense if I didn’t know it was coming, and I would’ve liked the book a whole lot better. What can I say? I love surprises 😀

    • I think that’s what it boils down to – I hate surprises! I’ve even been bugging my mom to just give me an allotment for Christmas and then she can wrap up whatever I buy and I’ll pretend to be surprised. I just like to be in control I guess 😛

  8. When I’m bored by the certain part I’m in (which usually happens at the beginning), I just go and skip to the end. Which is such a bad thing, but I can’t really contain the impulse. Which is so weird, because I used to do this before, but after the summer, I got back into it, and I can’t break the habit.

    Yeah . . . I think the problem is that it’s my habit.

    • YES! I was reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon a few months ago, and there’s like 800 pages in that thing. So of course it hit a few lulls, so I skipped ahead a bit. Now I pretty much know the whole entire story and someday I’ll have to go back so I can fill in all the tiny blanks. But anyway. It worked for me 😀

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  10. OMG I do this all the time! It’s horrible because I get halfway through the book and I’m just like, “Nope, this isn’t happening. I already know what happens.” I think I do it to see if it’s worth my time or not since some books are so predictive and if the ending is worthwhile, I’ll finish it.

    • I actually find myself doing the opposite – if it’s really predictable, I won’t skip ahead. It’s only when I have no idea where something is going that I feel that urge to spoil myself!

  11. No way, I am definitely anti-spoiler. I’ll even avoid the book description from the publisher because they sometimes give away too much. I’ll read it when I first hear about a book… but if I forget the details by the time I get around to it, I won’t refresh my memory.

    As for unmarked spoilers… I know there’s always some risk when reading a review because not everyone agrees on what qualifies as a spoiler. But deliberately giving away major info without warning is just rude.

    • Unmarked spoilers is the worst for me. I had planned on waiting a little longer for Allegiant, but then I was scrolling through tumblr and there it was, no markers or anything, the entire book laid out cover to cover! So that’s when I decided to research the rest and see what everyone was so riled up about.

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