This Monday's question is: Spoilers in review: Do you read them, do you include them? How do you describe (or avoid describing) spoilery parts of a book?
It's easiest for me to break down this question into two parts --- Do I read spoilers, and do I mind them and Do I include spoilers in my reviews on my blog?
As far as spoilers in the reviews that I read, many of the reviews I come across in my library sources don't tend to have spoilers. Journals like Booklist, Publisher's Weekly and Library Journal don't tend to have spoilers in the reviews/summaries, so that's not really an issue. When I read reviews on blogs, however, I do keep an eye out for any "spoiler alert here" that the blogger has put in. Most of the time, spoilers don't ruin it too much for me, but if it's a book I'm really curious about, or in the middle of reading, I'll usually stop reading the review at that point and come back to it later. What I don't like is when a blogger goes ahead and puts in spoilers, with any kind of "alert, alert --- spoiler ahead" kind of note ..... that can be annoying. If you can't contain yourself, and must write about something in the book that turns out to be a spoiler, fine --- but give me a heads-up first, please.
In my own reviews, I try to avoid spoilers. I'll maybe lead up to something and then say, "And yes, you'll have to read the book to find out what happens." That being said, maybe I should go back and look at some of my past reviews to double-check that something I wrote about didn't turn out to be a spoiler. Just because I didn't think it was doesn't mean it totally blew the cover off something for another reader. I try to hint at things, but if I feel like I'm coming too close to a spoiler, I stop.
I have a friend who sometimes will read the ending of a book first, so that she knows what to expect when she's reading (and doesn't have any nasty surprises waiting for her at the end). I don't do that, although I do admit that I often turn to the book jacket to see what the author looks like.
and hey ... does the word "spoil" look really weird to you right about now? It totally does to me. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else is confessing on this one.