If there’s one thing I hate it’s spoilers. My favorite books are ones that surprise me. If I know too much before I read a book, then there’s nothing to surprise me and I don’t like it. Then I wonder if I would have liked the book if I didn’t know what was going to happen. For this reason, I do not read the summaries for books that are on the back of the cover. I get book recommendations by how often I see a book. Harry Potter was one. I didn’t know a bloomin’ thing about it before I started. I only knew that everyone was talking about this “kid’s book.” I was a teenager at the time and didn’t want to be caught reading a little kid’s’ book, but people reassured me that lots of adults read these books, too. It surprised the heck out of me and I was blown away.
So, when I was navigating through Pottermore, I noticed that if you click on, say Professor Dumbledore in Chapter 1, it only reveals information up to that point in the story. Cue angels singing. This is pure genius. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been reading wiki’s or cliff-notes because I’ve forgotten who a character was (I forget characters a lot. It’s a particular weakness of mine. Unfortunately, it also spills over into real life and I often forget who people are even though I’ve met then numerous times). Wiki and cliff-notes tell you everything that happens to that character in the whole story even though I’m only half way through. If I’m really lucky, I’ll find out that they die 100 pages before I get there. Grrrrr. Eventually, I had to stop using cliff-notes and wiki character bios and I made my own. (This was especially hard for War and Peace. Why did he name so many people Anna??)
I was pondering the other day if J.K. Rowling was still going to publish the Encyclopedia she’s been talking about. But that’s when I realized that I don’t care if she ever does. Pottermore is 10 times better than any Encyclopedia (and part of me thinks that Pottermore IS the Encyclopedia she’s been talking about. Plus, I’m starting to think that a Harry Potter Encyclopedia would be thousands of pages long.). I’m still trying to finish The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide. It’s the Encyclopedia for the Twilight Series and I started it in April. It’s boring as all get-out to read. And it’s chock full of spoilers. If I had never read Twilight before, I couldn’t use the Guide to help me because then I’d know everything that happened in the entire series.
I hope authors/fans/publishers will follow somewhat in J.K. Rowling’s lead and make an interactive, spoiler-free Encyclopedia for their books. It would make my life much more spoiler free.