We all have traumatic formative experiences as children. If you don’t mind me getting personal here, sharing my pain and showing my (metaphorical) scars, then…then I will.

(I can feel the love of all the Risky readers buoying me up, giving me courage to go on.)

When I was a kid, I… (Hard to say, for the misery, the shame.) I — I learned all the secrets of The Empire Strikes Back before I saw the movie. All of them.

I still haven’t recovered from that. (As you can see.)

It really hurt my enjoyment of the film, too, because I kept waiting for this to happen, and that to happen, and then for So-and-So to dramatically intone those terrible words (which I already knew)…

Around the same time, I found a copy of Diana Wynne Jones’s Charmed Life in a lovely little shop, on a lovely little day.

It had one of the prettiest covers I’d ever seen. It was paperback, so I could afford to buy it. And it was by one of my favorite authors!

I bought it. I loved it.

Tragically, this very pretty American paperback edition gave away a major secret on the back cover. This was a piece of information which was not known to the main characters until near the end of the book — but I didn’t realize they didn’t know it!

Ever since then, I’ve been spoiler-averse. I’m not on the extreme edge — I watch most previews in movie theaters, for example (though sometimes I close my eyes and ears and hum) — but if I know I’m going to read a book, I never read the blurb on the back…and when I’m watching television and a voice says “Next time, on Lost,” I turn it off, or hit the mute button and look away.

So…how about you?

Do you read the blurb on a book’s back-cover, or on the inner flap? Do you peek at the ending, to see if it ends happily?

Do you watch a TV show’s scenes from next time? Do you hide your eyes during movie previews?

Do you seek out spoilers online?

All answers welcome!

Cara King, author of MY LADY GAMESTER, which has a back cover that gives away some but not all of the plot