- By Cindi
I have been a huge reader for much longer than my memory can process. At no time in my life can I remember not being engrossed in a book, thinking about what I wanted to read next or scouring the local bookstores to find that perfect piece of fiction. These days you can always find me doing the same only via Amazon, publisher sites or my Kindle. My love of romance began over a battered copy of Danielle Steel's The Promise when I was twelve and over the years I have read every genre and sub-genre imaginable leading up to LGBT, my genre of choice these days. I have been reading since I was old enough to hold a book in my hand and able to understand the words.
You are wondering what the purpose of this post is. Who cares about what Cindi reads and what led up to her genre of choice? My point is this........ I have a love affair with my books. As much as I read previously, that has quadrupled as a result of my e-reader. I have authors I follow and I've become friends with some. There are series where I will literally count down the days until the next one is released. I will gladly pay an outrageous ebook price if it means downloading a book by a favorite author or that is next in a series. I like to read them fresh without someone else's opinion taking away from that. Back in the day it was someone telling me how a Grisham book ended via phone or in person. This was before the days of Goodreads where millions of people can post their opinions at any time of the day of whatever book they just read.
Ah, Goodreads. Discovering that site was perfect for me. It's all about my greatest love: Books. I have met many wonderful people through Goodreads (including authors), most notably my blog partner and good friend, Kazza K. But Goodreads, as wonderful as it is, also has its drawbacks. I could not tell you how many times I have had books ruined for me because of the inconsideration of other readers. There are two ways that I am aware of where you can hide spoilers in a review other than just saying nothing. If only everyone would use them.
Then there are those who feel the need to make a statement by warning others off of specific books. The books may have something controversial or that makes certain people uncomfortable in them. Instead of saying “This book made me uncomfortable and may do the same for others. If you are interested in why that is private message me or click the spoiler link where I have my reasons hidden" these people will completely spell out exactly what it was about the book that bugged them therefore giving the entire book away. This happened recently which is why I'm typing this. If you pull up the book page of a book I read a few days ago close to the top of the list you will see this such review (don't do it if you are interested in reading any of the books I have read recently). What this person refers to is something that is the big secret in the book so for it to be thrown out there for all to see angers me.
I look at book pages before I read a book. I glance at reviews if they look like spoilers are hidden. Had I seen this particular review by this person before I read the book I wouldn't have spent money on it. Or if I had bought it already and not read it yet, I'd be furious and my typing this blog post would not have been the end of it. I would have commented on the review and it's a good bet that I would not have been nice. Would that matter? No but it would damn sure make me feel better.
What happened to consideration? I'm not saying that all my reviews are spoiler-free. Regardless of how hard I try to keep them out I still accidentally slip some in at times. If I type a review that has even one that I am aware of I try to note this at the top of the review as a warning on this blog. On Goodreads I bracket them or hide the review completely. Why feel the need to totally screw it up for other people?
Last year I discovered two authors who are also partners in life. I read the first in their series and was anxious to read the second one and had pre-ordered it in advance. I go to the book page to mark that I was currently reading the book and what do I see at the very top? An AUTHOR (who I won't name) had on the very first review listed “Oh my God! Why would you end it like that? I'm devastated!” This made me want to check what she was currently reading and send her a message that said “The MC shoots his lover after finding him in bed with his sister's boyfriend's baby mama”. Of course I wouldn't do that (I'm not that childish) but thinking about it made me feel good. The bad thing for me about this particular author is that she wrote one of my all-time favorite M/M books, a book I've recommended to many. Now? I won't read her stuff because I feel that she, as an author, should know better. The comment was removed later but it was too late. I spent an entire day reading a book waiting for the ax to fall so to speak.
Have consideration for others when you type a review or discuss a book. Not much angers me more than having a perfectly good book ruined for me because of someone else. Let me find out what happens by myself. If I don't like it I will make this known in my own review.... without spoilers.
I have a Goodreads friend who is very diligent about emailing me if she sees that I have added a book that has cheating by a main character in it (that's not mentioned in the blurb). She does this as a warning to me because of my hate for those types of books. SHE does it to save me from spending money on a book that will anger me but she usually does it privately. But here's the thing about the others........ most of us are big girls and boys and if we are reading a book that has “controversial content” listed in the tag (the book I'm referring to did not) then it's a pretty good bet that we know something different will be happening. Believe it or not, most of us grown-ups are okay with that. I don't need a total stranger throwing out his or her beliefs simply as a warning to others therefore hurting the author's sales because what's the point in reading the book now? That person just gave it all away.
What I would love to say to the above person: “There is a feature on your Kindle that allows you to highlight words you do not understand. Highlight the word and it gives you a definition. One word stood out repeatedly in this book starting almost at the very beginning. Had you checked the definition you would have known earlier that what offended you was going to happen.”
We all have a right to our opinions. That's what reviews are. I can be mild with mine or I can be firm. But never will I (or most people I know) publicly throw a review out there detailing the biggest spoiler in the book just because I am offended over something in it and I believe others should be as well. It's rude, it's inconsiderate and it's forcing your views on others. A majority of reviewers don't do this. A majority love their books as much as I do and would never dream of hurting the reading experience of others. But the others? They need to either learn to hide spoilers or say nothing..