My Take on Trigger Warnings

I debated whether or not I wanted to write this post a million times. Then I debated how I wanted to phrase everything for a good long while. But in the end, I decided to just sit down and write my unedited, personal experience into a blog post.  I originally wrote this post in honor of Shattering Stigmas, and even though that event ended a few months back, I still need to credit it with giving me the push I needed to finally discuss this topic in a public manner. So without further ado, it’s time to actually clue you into what I’m talking about today. (If the title didn’t already ruin the surprise.)

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Today I’m talking about trigger warnings and how sorely lacking they are in the bookish community. I have a pretty common triggers that I’m not going to specify in this post. While most of what I have to say is based on my experience with this one particular topic, I’m well aware that it’s not the only trigger out there and that no matter the trigger itself, there rarely are sufficient content warnings in place.

Before I start talking about what I think needs to be changed, I want to shed a little light on why this topic matters so much to me. My mental health has been a struggle for me since I was very little. I’m 20 years old, and as a dramatic underestimation, I’ve been in therapy for over 10 years. Unfortunately, as I’ve gotten older, things have only begun to take bigger tolls on me. One of the things I’ve been working on these past few years is removing as many triggers from my life as I can so that I can focus on healing and on ensuring my mental health remains as stable as possible.

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I’ve made some drastic changes because of this. I’ve cut down my reading of fantasy books down by almost 95%, all for the sake of my mental health. Fantasy used to make up a big chunk of what I read, and now it’s something that I will only pick up after immense amounts of research and with a healthy dose of fear. And that fear is not unfounded, because I’ve hit several low points after reading books that set off a variety of unhelpful thoughts and memories within me. So now I’m selective about the books I read and do a fair bit of research before I pick up a book.

Even genres that you’d assume would be safe, aren’t. In fact, I was inspired to write this post after I was triggered by a romance, a genre I tend to read when my mental health is already fraying at the edges. I went into the book expecting cuteness, and while that was there, I didn’t need to read farther than Chapter 2 before I realized something was up. This was a popular book that I had seen recommended countless times! And yet, not once had I seen it mentioned that this book had significantly triggering content! Instead, I had to do some reading on Goodreads to confirm my suspicions.

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That leads right into my biggest pet peeve about all of this. Why is it so hard for me to find out if a book has triggering content? To start with, I can look at reviews, but those don’t always yield results. Firstly, because not everyone lists trigger warnings, but also because the subtle triggers aren’t always mentioned. Most trigger warnings I’ve seen tend to refer to be related to the main character, whereas anything that has to do with the side characters is rarely mentioned. But even if we pass that hurdle, and there is a trigger warning for everything that happens in the book, why do so many people leave the warnings at the end of their reviews? They’re very important, and that means they need to be visible! Why leave something so important in a place that’s so hard to find? It’s so much easier to do this kind of research when trigger warning are at the beginning of a post or review!

However, my gripe is not fully on reviewers. I will admit that I myself am terrible at mentioning triggers because I only tend to notice my own. My much bigger and more important question is this: Why don’t publishers include trigger warnings in the very book itself? It doesn’t have to be in the very beginning. Let it be at the very end for all I care. But why isn’t there a designated spot where I can find out if picking up a specific book is going to damage my mental health with just a page or two? The people who know the book best should be the ones to list all the details that might be triggering. Interlude Press actually has such a thing and it’s wonderful! At the beginning of their books they have a link where you can look up content warnings for every book they publish.

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Me to publishers

I know it’s difficult undertaking, but it’s so important. If you can use someone’s pain as a plot twist, you can take the time to make sure they never have to read about it unless they want to. People worry that trigger warnings can be spoilers, but most of the time that’s already a sign that they’re needed. Because if there’s nothing early on to warn the reader, how will they know that this book will be triggering for them?

So this is my plea to anyone who will listen. Reviewers, take the time to write trigger warnings. Put them in spoiler tags, if you’d like, but specify that your review has  a list of content warnings. I know that I don’t mind spoiling myself for the sake of my mental health. In fact, I find it funny that people focus more on not leaving spoilers than they do on ensuring people are adequately warned about the content in books.

Regardless, write trigger warnings. Even if you’re not writing a full review, leave the content warning for those that need to find it. Leave it at the very top of your review. Do that while also asking publishers to do their part and take accountability to list content warnings for their readers in every book they publish. I know that at the very least, I will be immensely grateful.

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 Do you leave content warning on your reviews? Do you have a good place to find out if a book has triggering content? How do you feel about triggering material being used as a plot twist?


51 thoughts on “My Take on Trigger Warnings

  1. I think trigger warnings are vitally important and I always include them somewhere in my review posts. It is hard to believe that 99% of publishers do not include them in books; that’s something that has to change.
    Excellent post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy to hear that you include them in your review! But I definitely agree that something really needs to change in publishing. It shouldn’t be on the reviewers to keep track of trigger warnings. It should be a publisher’s responsibility! Unfortunately, since that’s not yet the case, I’m grateful to every reviewer who take the time to include them for people who rely on them. But I’m also hopeful that soon the publishing industry will take note of how important trigger warnings are to people and start including them in books as a mainstream thing!

      Thank you! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I admit I am terrible @ mentioning triggers. If it’s something “major” I try to do, but I also don’t review as often as I used to. That being said, I think it’s also difficult to find what a trigger could be? There are quite a few obvious ones, right, but something that could potentially trigger me, might not be noticeable to someone else.

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    1. It’s super difficult! I don’t blame anyone for not including them, I just wanted to spread awareness about how important they can be and how difficult they are to find. I struggle in a similar way!

      I tend to only notice my triggers and some obvious ones, as you put it. It’s not as if there’s a list of trigger warnings that people can refer to and check off if they come across any as they read. That’s part of the reason why I think this really is a job for the publishers. I’d love for them to come up with a system, so that when a book is published it already has a list of all the triggers they could think of printed inside.

      I think in the mean time I’m going to try to start with the ones that I see mentioned often, that way even if I don’t catch everything, I’ll still be helping some people out. It might not be much, but it’s a start.


  3. Yeah I am definitely trash at mentioning them. If it’s huge I will generally be able to see it but I won’t lie, I am seriously bad at it. Not because I don’t care about mental health (of course I do!) but because I guess triggers are such a personal thing, and I don’t always know what is/isn’t/could be/etc. I think that publishers and authors should really be more on the ball with this- perhaps even employing someone who could specialize in this? Because while I can (and will) definitely try to do better, I am also not a professional, so I am probably never going to fully do something like this justice- especially since I am not necessarily focusing on it while reading, and since we generally only read the thing ONCE, it’d be hard for reviewers to catch everything, I guess. Idk it is so HARD because obviously I don’t ever want to see you or anyone else hurting because of a book. And I hate that it has made your life harder, when reading should be a happy experience (says the weirdo who loves heavy books that make her cry 😂). Thank you SO much for sharing this, it is definitely something I will be more cognizant of going forward!

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    1. Don’t beat yourself up about it! I’m just as bad! It’s like you said, I tend to have tunnel vision and only see my own triggers plus some other big ones. And since I know I’m probably missing a few, I feel weird including any at all. After writing this post though, I’m now going to try to start small, and include whatever triggers I find, and try to help some people, even if I’m not able to help everyone.

      I love the idea of having someone dedicated to this in publishing. I think someone with a background in psychology could be perfect for the role. Much like a copy-editor reads a book and is trained to notice grammatical errors and other inconsistencies, this person would be reading an early copy with the singular purpose of finding triggering content.

      As I said, I really don’t want anyone to feel guilty over this. I really just wanted to start a discussion, with the hopes that people would start recognizing why trigger warnings are important in the first place and how difficult they are to find when you need them. And if someone makes a change to their reviewing process in any way, big or small, that would just be the icing on the cake. I think most change starts with awareness though, so that’s what I intended when I wrote this post.

      I also just want to thank you, personally. As I mentioned, I originally wrote this post for Shattering Stigmas. But then I got super busy with school, so I waited until I could have a discussion with people once they read this. But had it not been for the event you started and run, I never would have had the courage to write this post in the first place, let alone publish it. So thank you! ❤


  4. I’m so sorry that reading is so stressful since you’re constantly having to research to find out if a book has triggering content. I also wrote a discussion a few months back about why we should have trigger/content warnings in the book itself, rather than online in reviewing platforms such as Goodreads. I’ll admit, I don’t put trigger warnings in my reviews, because I don’t really know what to look for, and what will be considered trigger/content warnings. It doesn’t bother me, so I won’t notice it, but it should still be in the book itself so that those who need it can find it. Our mental health is more important than hiding a trigger because it’s a spoiler or plot twist.
    Awesome discussion, Malka 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Looking up trigger warnings just adds another step before I can read a book. Thankfully at this point I have a pretty good system in place for researching books before I read them, but every now and then a book slips through the cracks. I’ll definitely check out your post because I definitely agree that trigger warnings should be a publisher’s responsibility! I just think that while we wait for that to happen, reviewers can be super helpful in this area.

      It’s definitely difficult to figure out what’s considered a trigger, though. I have a similar problem in that I tend to only notice my triggers and a few other big ones, so I don’t think I’d ever be able to come up with a complete list. I’m going to try to include the triggers that I notice from now on though, that way I can help some people out, even if I won’t be able to help everyone.

      Thank you so much, Rukky! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think this is such an important post, Malka! I know I don’t list trigger warnings when I am reviewing a book, and it’s because I don’t feel qualified – I worry that I will list a few things and then forget something important, or list something incorrectly. I would *hate* if I messed up and someone else suffered the consequences of that. So that is why I totally agree with what you’ve said here: “The people who know the book best should be the ones to list all the details that might be triggering.” I think it would be great if there was a universal system in place. For the meantime, I use the “Does the Dog Die?” website. It has many triggers listed, but mostly for the more popular books as it is a crowdsourced project.
    I’m sorry to hear that picking books to read is such a chore for you – I hope that in the near future, publishers will start making it easier ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This post was definitely important to me, that’s for sure! I feel like not feeling qualified is a common reason for not posting trigger warnings. And I totally understand because I’m the same way! I feel like I focus mostly on my trigger, and don’t notice many others. But from now on I’m going to start small, and include whatever I notice. That way I’ll hopefully be helping some people out, even if I miss something.

      But I definitely agree! This is something that publishers should be more on top of! I don’t think that the burden should fall on reviewers, just because the publishers aren’t focused on this issue.

      Also, I’ve never even heard of “Does the Dog Die?” before! I just looked it up and it’s amazing! Thank you so much for sharing that resource with me! I really appreciate it, and I have a feeling I’ll be using it often! 💕

      And I’m definitely hopeful that publishers will make things easier in the future!

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  6. Thank you for writing this as I think it is so important and I think you wrote this wonderfully!!
    I include trigger warnings in my reviews (on occasion I do forget but I try not too), I have to say on goodreads I probably put them at the bottom but now I’ve read this I will certainly include them at the top so thank you. I think Mel from Mel to the Any does great trigger warnings.
    I definitely think trigger warnings are important I don’t understand why some people don’t like them because no one is forcing you to read them and for the sake of skipping a segment or page to help someone is such a small thing. I really hope to see them in books and for publishers to start doing them. The book ‘Baker Thief’ has a full page at the beginning with different triggers and the pages they are on and I thought it was so good!! I wish to see it more.
    Wonderful post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Sophie! 💕

      I feel like a lot of people who don’t like trigger warnings don’t understand their importance, typically because they are lucky enough not to get triggered. I think there’s a very big difference between those people that think trigger warnings are useless and people that don’t include them in their reviews for other reasons. I’ve had so many discussions with people on this very post about how they don’t feel qualified or don’t know where to start, and therefore don’t post any warnings. Those people understand the importance whereas those bothered by the very existence of trigger warnings, lack empathy and compassion in my opinion. As you said, just don’t read them if they aren’t important to you!

      I’m so happy to hear that you include trigger warnings and I feel like it’s 100% understandable that every once in a while you forget to include them! That’s exactly why publishers should be in charge of including them! They have plenty of chances to catch and catalog any triggering content in each book they publish! I’m so glad to hear that there are books out there already that have taken on the challenge! Now I just want to see this change become more widespread, so that a page of trigger warnings is not such an uncommon occurrence. I want it to be the norm!

      Thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I believe it’s important to provide content/trigger warnings. It’s interesting to me how the book publishing industry doesn’t have strict content guidelines (only suggesting which age group a book would be appropriate for) while the film industry does a better job about providing guidelines. (Especially with sites such as IMDb.) I confess that I’m not always great about including them (sometimes, I wait days before writing a review, so I might forget some details), but I’m trying to be better about writing them in my BuJo as I’m reading.

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    1. This is such a wonderful point! Especially since a book can be age appropriate but still contain triggering content! Although I wonder if books intended for younger ages have better documentation about content warnings, since the book isn’t marketed for adults, and parents may want to know whether or not they want their child to read said book. I sincerely hope that the publishing industry puts way better content warning in place for ALL age ranges sometime soon!

      I’m not the best with keeping track of trigger warning either since I tend to focus most on my own, and some other big ones. Plus, as you mentioned, many times I’m writing a review months after I finished a book and only have vague memories and some notes I jotted down to guide me. So I want to be better about including them too! Even if I’m not perfect, at least I know I’ll be trying!


  8. I did a post on triggers and trigger warnings a while ago, and it’s a difficult situation. First, you cannot easily predict the non-obvious triggers. A lot of people react or are triggered by violence, death, cancer, animal abuse, abuse, etc, but I have seen people talk about other things, which I would never have thought of myself. I started therapy when I was 7 and did two in-patient stays, so I understand trying to protect your mental health. Some triggers are spoilery, and I think that’s why many, myself included, don’t tend to include them in their reviews. I feel like the books should have content warnings on those pages in the beginning, where they put all the stuff people don’t really read (unless they are looking for something, such as content warnings). They are the ones, who have resources, such as sensitivity readers and whatnot, who can read the books and identify content that could be triggering better than I could. I think more authors are aware of the need, though. For instance, I remember seeing CW at the beginning of How to Be Remy Cameron.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I agree! It’s definitely a complicated topic. I just wanted to talk about my experience and discuss some points that I haven’t heard mentioned in regard to trigger warnings before.

      From having discussions with people on this post, the topic of non-obvious triggers came up a lot. I agree that it’s very difficult to catch everything that might be a spoiler, but I do think that it’s best to start somewhere. And I think that starting with some non-obvious, and common triggers like abuse, violence, suicide, and death could be very useful to so many people. While I understand completely, I think it’s counterproductive not to list *any* trigger warnings for fear of excluding one.

      I think that spoilery triggers are the ones that I struggle to find the most. Having triggers clearly labeled but hidden behind a spoiler tag has protected my mental health more than once. If no one wants to talk about a trigger for fear of spoiling the book, how can I ever find out about that trigger without reading it in detail for myself?

      I definitely agree that content warnings should be the responsibility of publishers, and hope that soon they’ll have a system in place for them. I think it should be part of the editing process to keep track of triggers and list them in any printed copy. And while I’ve seen some authors use social media to inform their readers of trigger warnings, I still think that a comprehensive solution needs to come from the publishers, not the reviewers or authors.

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  9. This is a very interesting post and quite a thought provoking one.

    I’ve never really considered trigger warnings before as part of a review but when I take the time and think about the books I read there is definitely content that I find disconcerting but I’ve never really made the connection that what I find uncomfortable could actually be an incredibly harmful trigger for someone else.

    I guess I’ve never thought about adding a trigger warning to my reviews because of the whole ‘spoiler’ thing but then if movies contain trigger warnings i.e when they say ‘scenes of sexual violence’ I don’t consider that spoiling the content but an appropriate advisory disclaimer – so why should it be seen as a spoiler with books? It shouldn’t, not really.

    I know that there is a website (I can’t remember its name for the life of me at the moment) that’s all about trigger warnings and content for movies and you can search for a movie and it will tell you everything that could be considered a concern even down to whether animals are harmed. Also on IMDB each movie has ‘parental guide’ which is actually useful for more than just seeing whether the film is suitable for children.

    I do think something is needed for books but then the question is where does the ultimate responsibility lie? Probably not with reviewers but with the publishing industry itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I was hoping that this discussion could spark a conversation with other bloggers, and I’m so glad that it seemed to have worked!

      I think that people don’t talk about trigger warnings enough, and therefore only the people that have a need for them recognize their importance. It definitely makes sense. People don’t tend to notice things that don’t affect them, and why would they? That’s why I wrote this post! To point my need for them (and others’ need for them as well.)

      As for the whole spoiler debate, I totally agree with you! Movies are pretty great at letting everyone in the audience know what content the film will contain from the very first trailer! And you can hide content warnings in reviews if you’re really that concerned about spoilers, as long as it’s easy to open and find the warnings themselves.

      People have been really awesome, and responded with some sites that I can check up books/movies for triggers! The only downside with those sites are that, as you mentioned, they’re geared mainly towards movies, and they also don’t tend to include books that aren’t SUPER popular. But I still can see myself using those sites in the future!

      Publishers definitely should take responsibility for content warnings! I very much agree! I’m just grateful to the reviewers that take the time to include trigger warnings in their reviews in the meantime, as I wait fro the publishing industry to make the necessary changes! They definitely don’t have to, but it means a lot to me!

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  10. Thanks for writing this, it’s super interesting and I can’t imagine easy to tackle.

    I don’t include CW in my reviews except for very obvious ones, where it’s a major part of the book. Mostly it’s because I don’t notice them, I’ve often thought oh that book is fine, and then someone else pointed out a bunch of stuff I’d completely forgotten about. I don’t want to end up being misleading, mentioning X and Y CW but forgetting Z, I wouldn’t want people thinking Z wasn’t in the book if it was just something I hadn’t noticed.

    If you think it might help you, someone on reddit fantasy has crowdsourced a Sexual Violence in SFF Database, if you want I can give you link.

    Spoiler tags seem like such an obvious solution to the spoiler “problem”. I’ve even seen authors parrot that line, it’s a good look.

    I love your blog name btw

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed! It definitely took a while until I was ready to post this.

      I definitely hear that! I but I think that no one is perfect, and I’d like to help some people avoid a difficult time, even if I can’t help everyone. But the fear of leaving something out has kept me from mentioning triggers myself, especially since I just tend to focus on my own. I’m going to try to make an effort in the future though, even if I end up forgetting something, and hopefully I’ll just get better with practice.

      That link sounds fantastic! I’ve never heard of that resource before, so I can’t wait to check it out! Thank you!

      And I totally agree! I think it’s a lazy excuse not to include trigger warnings because of spoilers. I’ve had so many times where triggers were used as plot twists or other dramatic ways and I’m just so done with it. If you don’t want to include trigger warnings, that’s fine. But the spoiler excuse is flawed on so many levels.

      Thank you so much! We had a really fun time coming up with our blog name, and I’m very happy that we ended up with Paper Procrastinators!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I tend to include major triggers in a section with “My Content Rating,” but I’ll confess that I’m definitely not perfect about it. Since I haven’t had this issue myself, it’s hard to know what types of things might be triggers for people. Common Sense Media might be a good resource for you—I know they include detailed information about content and they might include things that would be triggering to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s difficult for everybody to catch every trigger in a book. I know that for myself I tend to see my specific triggers and overlook some others, which is why I’ve been hesitant about including content warnings myself. People are imperfect, but I’d still rather people take the initiative and maybe forget something, than not include any sort of content warning at all! I’m so happy that you take the time to list them!

      I’ve actually used Common Sense Media before, but they don’t have every book on there, especially not newer releases. That’s why I tend to find reviews with content warnings more helpful, since reviewers can let me know whether or not a book is right for me before said book is even released! But I think to truly get a comprehensive list of content warnings, publishers are going to have to take responsibility. Hopefully that happens soon!


  12. This is such a great post and thank you so, so much for writing it. I agree with you that trigger warnings are so, so important and personally, they help me in picking up my next reads and just being warned, overall. There are some books I will completely avoid then, because I know they will be heavily triggering for me due to the nature of some topics, while some others, I will wait to be in the right mindset to get to them, too.
    I’m doing my very best to write trigger warnings in my reviews – though I do put them down at the bottom of my review along with the book’s full synopsis, I now wonder if it’s better for me to put it above it all? It’s just the way I’m formatting my reviewing blog posts, but you make me wonder. Also, yes! We often write down that the reviews are spoilery or non spoilery, but we don’t mention whether or not we put trigger warnings. That’s something I need to change too in my warnings.
    It’s also a little hard to catch all the triggers in a book, though I’m doing my very best on my own and with the help of other reviewers. I think trying is better than doing nothing at all 🙂
    this is such a wonderful post, thank you for speaking up on the topic, this is so important. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Marie! 💕 It definitely took a while to write and work up the courage to post, but now that it’s out there I’m so happy that I put my thoughts out into the blogosphere!

      That’s exactly it! Trigger warnings are important because they allow you to make the *choice* of whether or not you’re in the right space to read a particular book. The alternatives are, avoid all books that might have triggering content, or get blindsided by triggering content, neither of which are great options.

      I’m so happy that you include trigger warnings in your reviews! I think that the main thing is to try, even if you can’t catch everything. I haven’t included trigger warnings myself because I’ve been too scared that I’d only notice my own, and forget to include ones that aren’t as relevant to me. But after posting this discussion and talking it over and I realized that the best anyone can do is try. I totally agree! Helping a few people is better than not helping anyone at all.

      As for the placement of trigger warnings, I think it’s different on a blog versus on Goodreads, where I tend to do preliminary research. If I’m reading a review on a blog then I’m not skimming it for information. I read it through, and read any content warnings as they come up, whether at the beginning or end of the post. On the other hand, if I’m just looking on Goodreads to check for trigger warnings, I don’t want to read a full review. All I’m looking for are the trigger warnings, and if you have a long review, the read more button hides any warning you may have provided, almost defeating the purpose. Placing the trigger warnings on top makes them easy to find the minute someone looks up a book, no hassle necessary! Although I guess some people may skim long blog reviews too. I’m just speaking from my own experiences here!

      I appreciate your support so much! Thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OH YES this is such a good argument about goodreads, you’re so right, I didn’t see it that way but you’re right. Putting the trigger warnings at the top of the review on goodreads makes way more sense. I’m terrible at updating my reviews to goodreads but I really should do better AND do better with these trigger warnings too. thank you for mentioning this!! ❤

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  13. I admit that I am AWFUL at leaving TWs in my review because I get all anxious as to what is actually triggering and if I remember things correctly and is it better to leave at least some or do I need a comprehensive list? What if I only put a few I remember and someone assumes that’s all?

    But I love the idea of authors/publishers giving us TWs and I often found them useful and sometimes need to check those out in reviews as well.

    So, a bit hypocritical of me? Yes, and I fully admit to it. That’s one of the things I sadly need to get better at.

    Trigger warnings are so important and I avoided many books with thanks to them and got myself ready for the content that doesn’t trigger me as much as long as I know ahead and I’m super thankful to everyone who includes them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally understand that feeling! I’m the same exact way! I’m so scared that I’ll only notice my own triggers, that I my reviews don’t include any trigger warnings either! So I definitely understand feeling like a hypocrite. I think from now on I’m going to try to include all the trigger warnings I notice, because I don’t want to stop myself from helping people just because I can’t help everyone. But I understand that not everyone feels the same way, and might only want to post trigger warnings if they feel confident they’re not leaving anything out.

      But I definitely think the best scenario is for publishers to provide a full list of trigger warnings. They have the time and the capacity to do it best, and to make sure that everyone that reads the book has access to the trigger warnings. Until that happens though, I’m definitively grateful to the reviewers that take the time and effort to include trigger warnings in their reviews! They’ve helped me out more than they’ll ever know!

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  14. I’m so sorry you have to deal with such things, Malka ❤ It really sucks to hear people say that TWs are not necessary because it's just not realistic. Like, hey, I'm reading this book to escape reality! Anyways, I digress. I always strive to include trigger warnings in the books I review. I only worry that I may miss out something because what may not be triggering for me, is triggering for another person.

    I just checked out the content warnings of Interlude Press. I'm very impressed! It's so detailed!

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    1. Thank you! 💕 It bothers me so much when people say trigger warnings are unnecessary! Just because *you* find them unnecessary, doesn’t mean they aren’t extremely helpful to the people that actually NEED them! It’s awful when a book I was hoping would make me smile ends up making my mental health take a nosedive instead because it contained some content I was unaware of when I picked it up. And the solution is so simple!

      I’m so happy to hear that you include trigger warnings! I have that worry too, and its kept me from including trigger warnings at all in my reviews for the longest time. But I honestly think that no one is perfect, so all we can do is try our best.

      Isn’t Interlude Press fantastic? They give me hope that other publishers will start including trigger warnings soon, and provide us with lists that are just as comprehensive for every single book that’s publish!


  15. I don’t think I do a good job about trigger warnings. I tend to only mention content that bothers me and then, only if I can do so without spoilers. I would love to have a separate website for trigger warnings. If I could link to a resource like that, it would make more confident I was presenting trigger warnings in the way least likely to bother people and people could choose whether to look at them or not. I know that I personally will use for movies and they’ve started covering a lot of content, for books as well as movies, but it could still be a lot more complete.

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    1. I think it’s really difficult to keep track of trigger warnings, especially when you don’t have experience with a particular topic, because then you don’t notice that topic as much as you read. I understand why you don’t include content that’s a spoiler, but I still would love for there to be some place where I can easily find spoilers that are triggers. I’ve been blindsided by several books because no one wanted to mention a trigger warning because it was a spoiler.

      I think a website is a great starting point, but like you said even really great sites like don’t have a complete list of every book and movie out there, let alone their content warnings. That’s why I think that the publishers should be in charge of making sure every one of their books comes with a list of trigger warning, much like every book comes with a copyright page in the beginning and acknowledgements at the end. That way anyone that plans on reading a book can find out if there is any triggering content, and bloggers would have a complete list to reference, if they chose. I know it’s not a simple thing to fix, but I’m hopeful that something will change in the near future that will end up being an elegant but simple solution!

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  16. When you said: In fact, I find it funny that people focus more on not leaving spoilers than they do on ensuring people are adequately warned about the content in books.
    That really stood out to me because it’s so true! People get more bent out of shape over spoilers than about trigger warnings and I don’t get it, I can only see that as a privilege thing.

    I think it’s important that reviewers include trigger warnings while we wait for publishers to do the right thing and include them in the books (AND MARKETING!!!) themselves.

    I’ve been including trigger/content warnings for a while now and I’ve always put them at the top and I’m glad to hear that it was a good choice.

    It’s hard to know what to include but I think if you know of people who might be triggered by the content, include it, if you get a feeling it could be a problem for someone, then include it. You’re not going to get it right all the time, and you might miss some (I know I probably do) but what’s important is you’re trying.

    I think including trigger warnings shows your audience that you care for their well-being.

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    1. Yes! I don’t get what the big deal is about including trigger warnings. If you’re so worried about spoilers than include a spoiler tag! Some people have no choice but to spoil themselves, and it’s awful when no one takes the time to mention those spoilery things that could have such a terrible impact. If something is unexpectedly triggering in a book, it’s all the more important that someone mentions it, so that readers can be prepared! I 100% agree with you. People who are privileged not to need trigger warnings can’t understand how essential they are to those that need them!

      Oh, I definitely think publishers should be the ones in charge of including the trigger warnings. It’s ridiculous that there’s been no talk in any major publishing house about implementing them into all their books. Reviewers are way more likely to miss things than publishers who have spent months going over every aspect of the book!

      I’m so glad to hear that you include content warnings! And putting them at the tops of your reviews definitely makes a big difference to me, at the very least! 😊

      It’s definitely difficult to know what to include, especially at first. But I think that the more trigger warning lists you see, and the more you learn about what content people find triggering, the easier it gets to notice when certain things happen in a book. And I understand if someone forgets to include or doesn’t notice a trigger if they’re trying their best. After all, nobody’s perfect!

      Whenever I see trigger warnings on a person’s review, I feel way more reassured about my decision whether or not to pick up a book. I think including them definitely shows that you care about people’s mental health and overall well-being!

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  17. I came across this post from your May wrap up, and this post is so incredible!

    I relate to you in a lot of ways. I have OCD and can find triggers in almost anything that is not completely 100% light-hearted. So like you, I’ve had to significantly cut down what genres I read.

    I have definitely read books before that use very triggering stuff as plot twists, and that has been a major negative point for me. There is absolutely no need for that kind of stuff. It could really hurt a person who enjoyed the book up until that point.

    Admittedly, I do not include trigger warnings in my reviews as much as I should. This post has inspired me to make them a regular part of my reviewing routine.

    Thank you for sharing this, Malka! And I hope whatever you do read brings nothing but positivity to your life 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! As you can probably tell this post is super personal to me, so I always feel good when someone takes the time to tell me that they appreciated this post! 💕

      It took me so long to realize that certain genres really affected my mental health, and even longer to realize this was because those genres tended to have triggering content. My switch to reading almost exclusively contemporary and romance was not just because I enjoyed those genres quite a lot, but because I could manage my triggers better with those books.

      Triggering plot points are absolutely awful! There’s one book that I distinctly remember used one of my triggers in such a terrible manner, just for the sake of shock value. The fact that authors think it’s okay to use triggering material to their benefit, without warning readers beforehand makes me very upset!

      I think it’s difficult for reviewers to catch all the trigger warnings, but I always appreciate when they take and do their best! But I still wish that publishers will start including triggers, instead of burdening reviewers to scour every page for a potential trigger!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this post! I hope you have the exact same positive reading experience, and only books you enjoy with no triggering content whatsoever! ❤


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