This topic comes up frequently. Do spoilers have time limits? In other words, if the book has been out for 20 years, can it really be considered a “spoiler” if you discuss with people who have NOT read it?
I think if you know someone hasn’t read the book, you shouldn’t purposely spoil it for them, period. However, I think it is unfair to have to assume no one has read the book and not be able to talk about the exciting stuff that happened. Certain books come up in pop culture discussions all the time, and it wouldn’t be right for them not to. Sometimes these include spoilers, and that is just goes along with the popularity of the book and any situations it can apply to in conversations. For example, when something devastating happens, a book worm might say “Oh, that was as painful as when Dumbeldore died.”
Because if you haven’t read Harry Potter by now, tough cookies on that spoiler. Sometimes a book you haven’t read can be spoiled for you accidentally if you end up overhearing (or over-reading, on social media) a conversation about it, and that just too bad for you noseypants. For example, I see Harry Potter memes all the time, and since I read it for the fist time last year, I already knew a lot about what happens. On the social media topic though, I always say stay off Twitter or Facebook right after a show you had to miss airs or a highly anticipated new book comes out until you can watch it/read it, or don’t get upset if you catch a spoiler.
Are you one of those who follow River Song’s advice:
I am not! As long as a review mentions that it contains spoilers, I think that you should be responsible for reading, or not reading, the spoilers. The same applies to movies or TV shows. I’ve been spoiled by being in the same room as other readers. I heard the secret of Tease before I even had a chance to read it. I really should have walked out of the room when the discussion started, but didn’t. Stephen King is known to post spoilers on Twitter. (Oh – and sorry, not sorry, for this spoiler!)
We can define any length of time limit to spoilers. A week probably isn’t long enough, but 15 years? That’s definitely past the time frame. If I am behind on a book, a TV show, or a movie, I take it upon myself to avoid reading the spoilers. And you should, too.