The Guardian ran an article this week on book spoilers, and a study that revealed readers may actually enjoy spoiled stories more than the unspoiled!

The psychologists go on to wonder why this is: perhaps, they say, it’s because it’s “easier” to read a spoiled story. “It could be,” says Leavitt, “that once you know how it turns out, it’s cognitively easier – you’re more comfortable processing the information – and can focus on a deeper understanding of the story.”

When I first read the article I was astounded and in denial, but then I realized something. Whenever I’m reading a book and my enthusiasm is fading, once I get to the point where I’m ready to give up and put the book down, I’ll start flipping through the book to find out if what I want to happen, happens. If it doesn’t, I usually put the book down, but if it does, I’ll go back and read all the way through to find out how they got there. Nevermind my lazy reading habits, but doesn’t this kind of support what they’re saying?

The instance that most clearly sticks out in my mind is Twilight. I remember reading it in late high school because my little sister was reading it, and I was fading fast, so I looked and saw that in the end Bella and Edward are at prom together, meaning they must have overcome the whole “I want to suck your blood” thing, so I read through to the end.

And then I started thinking about big franchises that, if spoilers were truly a huge issue, probably would have died off a long time ago. Namely: “Luke, I am your father.” What person really makes it to that moment without knowing about the twist? I’m sure it was awesome for those leaving the theater when it first came out, but the fact that it was common knowledge meant that this advertisement was possible when the prequels were coming out:

So what do you think? Does reading the last page of a book “spoil” it or is it part of your reading experience? And is it lazy to find out what happens early on? Is there some sort of inherent value in reading the book as it was written, waiting to find everything out as the author intended?

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