In this blog, I’m going to tell you why I don’t read Amazon book reviews.
First of all, this isn’t an Amazon-bashing article. I know many people dislike the corporate giant for various reasons, but that’s not what this is about. Besides, as someone who has self-published a couple of books through Amazon, it would be a little hypocritical of me to rage against that particular machine.
No, this is a rant about a specific issue I have with Amazon book reviews (although it also applies to other popular book review sites like Goodreads). I want to talk about one of my biggest internet bugbears: spoilers.
I hate spoilers. Spoilers, by definition, spoil things. The clue is in the name. And yet, while everyone knows what a spoiler is, some people must be oblivious to their negative effects. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t go around blurting out spoilers willy-nilly. It happens on Facebook, it happens in conversation and of course, it happens A LOT on Amazon.
Why do they do it? I have no idea. I am baffled as to why someone would willingly ruin an entire book, film or TV series for somebody. Maybe they do it out of spite, or get carried away out of sheer enthusiasm, or don’t realise they’re doing it. Maybe they don’t value these forms of entertainment as much as the rest of us, so they don’t appreciate how hard is to enjoy something when you know in advance how it’s going to end. In other words, maybe they’re immune to spoilers.
I am not immune. In fact, I’d say I’m hypersensitive to spoilers. Just as someone with a nut allergy will have an anaphylactic shock if they come into contact with peanuts, I have a severe reaction when exposed to the ending of a book or film that I’ve been looking forward to: my face turns red, my heart rate goes through the roof and I become highly irritable. The greater my anticipation, the worse I feel. It’s a good job nobody managed to spoil Breaking Bad for me – one of us probably would have ended up in A&E.
But while people with allergies to peanuts are warned whenever a product may contain nuts, there is rarely a warning of spoilers at the start of an Amazon review – and as I have no idea which Amazon reviews will contain spoilers, the only way I can ensure I stay spoiler-free is to avoid Amazon book reviews altogether.
Here at The Book Reviewers, we strive to provide a good overview of each book without giving too much away. We won’t divulge plot twists and we won’t reveal which lead character snuffs it. We aim to cater for everyone, whatever your requirements – and that includes those of you with a severe spoiler allergy.