Spoiler Alert: When Is It Okay To Talk About Spoilery Things?

Spoilers — nobody likes them and nobody likes the person who spoiled a story for you. Friendships have been destroyed, marriages have ended and demons have been summoned because of unwanted spoilers. Okay, none of those things have probably happened due to spoilers, but spoilers are still pretty bad. And while we all agree on their level of awfulness, not everybody agrees on when it’s okay to finally talk about spoilery things.

Recently, I was watching Epic Reads’s popular Tea Time video chat when the hosts spoiled Kiera Cass’s The One with a quick side comment. Naturally, I flew into a booknerd rage and wanted to take refuge in a corner and cry. I obviously still love Epic Reads — how could I not? Seriously. They’re amazing. — but I wish I could have unheard The Thing That Should Not Have Been Said.

But here’s the deal: The One has been out since May. That’s three months in which I could have read the book and therefore protected myself from any spoilers. But I didn’t, so I suppose I can assume some of the blame. Besides, at this point, there really isn’t any reason why people shouldn’t be talking openly about what happens in the book.

So when is it okay to talk about spoilers? Personally, I try and be as non-spoilery as possible at all times, especially since I often talk about books that have yet to come out. I don’t think a certain amount of time should dictate when the all clear can be given. Instead, I like it when people just give me a simple warning that they’re about to go into the spoiler zone and then give me enough time to either plug my ears and sing to myself, or tell them not to say anything at all.

It’s time to sound off, lovely readers. When do you think it’s okay to talk about spoilery elements? How do you avoid spoilers and what happens if something’s been spoiled for you? Let me know in the comments!