Book Triggers: Why They Are Important & How To Use Them

I recently saw the lovely Bronwen at BabblesnBooks announce on Twitter that from now on, she will include triggers in her reviews. Like me, many of you reading this may have absolutely no idea what book triggers are and why we should be using them. 

So in this post, I will look to introduce what book triggers are and why it’s important that we, as book bloggers and reviewers, should be including them in our posts.

So What Are Book Triggers? 

With more diverse stories finally getting the exposure they deserve, it has become easier than ever to read honest and heartbreaking stories about the struggles within society. Yet publishers are still not including content warnings with their releases. 

Some have argued that to include trigger warnings with book reviews or publications is infantalising readers. Life doesn’t come with trigger warnings and neither should books. I can completely understand this argument but I think that difficult material should come with warnings, just like with films and television programmes.  

Picture this: you have just come out of a relationship where you were victim to domestic abuse. You are on your journey to recovery and you pick up a book in which the main character finds themselves in a violent relationship. All of sudden, those memories, anxieties and difficult flashbacks to the pain you went through come flooding back. 

THIS IS WHY WE NEED CONTENT WARNINGS. 

Trigger warnings should not be there as spoilers to the story, and neither should they discourage readers form reading any book they want to read, but with mental health being such an important topic at the minute, I think it is important that people should know if there is difficult and distressing content in the books they are reading.

You may choose to disagree with me and that is absolutely fine, but from now on, I will be including trigger warnings in my reviews. 

And Here Is How To Use Them:

There are many websites out there where you can find lots of information on different types of triggers, but I will mostly be using BookTriggerWarnings.com which has a whole wiki page on different books and their triggers. 

You can either search for the particular book you are reviewing or head to their list of warnings page. If there are any books missing from their database, you can easily create an account and add the book you have reviewed. This is especially great for new releases and less-known books which need trigger warnings too. Also, if there are any triggers that you feel are missing, you are encouraged to contact them and add your triggers to the list. 

You will find my book trigger warnings at the end of each review and I promise you, they will not spoil any of the books I’m reviewing. 

I hope this post will encourage you to think about the importance of book triggers warnings and to perhaps start including them in your reviews too. 

11 thoughts on “Book Triggers: Why They Are Important & How To Use Them

  1. I agree, it is so important to have trigger warnings for books. I always try to include them and if I feel that they might spoiler something in the plot I always link to a Goodreads review that lists them. I didn’t know there was an actual website though and I will be using that for all my future reviews. Thank you for your post!

  2. Yes, I definitely include and believe in the importance of trigger warnings! I noticed one reviewer had the trigger warning behind a coded text and wasn’t visible until you clicked it. This is a great strategy to satisfy both sides! Thanks for the website info!

  3. Interesting… and a good idea, in general. Mind you, the books I read don’t really have many triggers that I can think of. But if I think I see one, I’ll try to put it into my review.

  4. Great post, Jessica! I have included trigger warnings in my reviews for a long time now and I think they are essential. I also do not understand why they don’t appear in more published books – they are not spoilers. They are very important for readers to know so they are prepared for what the book involves.
    Hope you are well and are reading lots of great books 🙂

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