This or That? #54

Hello and happy Monday!

In case anyone needs a reminder or is new to the Bookmark Chronicles, here are the rules: Every Monday I will post a This or That Challenge where we will choose between two characters or scenarios. On Friday we will see which scenario/character wins. Feel free to either comment your choice below or make your own post and link it back here! :)

By no means do you have to feel obligated to do every single challenge, but I would love to hear all of your opinions! If you can only really talk about one scenario then go for it. Also, if you have any suggestions or would like to write a guest post about any of the This or That? topics let me know!


So this week’s topic is something that has been creating a bit of buzz lately.

Do you think that some books should have trigger warnings?

Aside from yes or no I will allow a third option in which you can say that you are on the fence or unsure about it only if you provide a reasonable explanation.


Some people have said that they don’t think that books should have trigger warning because they think it’s censorship or that it would spoil the book.

Quite frankly, the censorship argument is crap. A trigger warning doesn’t prevent you from saying whatever you want to say, it protects the mental status of the reader and prevents them from being sent into a traumatic episode.

As far as spoilers go, I disagree with that as well. For books that focus around s sensitive topic, it should say that in the description. For example, books like Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, those books have to include the topic and I think that suffices as a trigger warning because it’sin the book description.

However, for books like The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephan Chbosky, it is possible to be blind-sighted by some of the events that take place. For books like those I think that something should be said. Something simple like TV and movie warnings that says something along the lines of “This book contains some sensitive subject matter and readers should proceed with caution.” Just like before some TV episodes it says “Viewer discretion is advised.”

There’s an article going around that’s titled, “Life doesn’t come with trigger warnings, why should books?” No, life doesn’t come with trigger warnings. However, people read for enjoyment and no one has ever asked to be a victim of violence or abuse of any kind so that comparison is absolute bullshit. With that said, if someone has had a traumatic experience and they are reading a book and suddenly what they’re reading is making them relive that trauma, it’s an issue.

I guess, overall I do think that some sort of vague warning should be included in certain books for the sake of the reader.

What do you think? Have you thought about this topic or is it new to you? Let me know!

~Rae

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About Bookmark Chronicles

Hi! I'm Rae. 23. Avid Reader, Book Blogger. Intersectional Feminist. Gryffindor.
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24 Responses to This or That? #54

  1. kristianw84 says:

    Absolutely!! A book should come with a trigger warning. I agree that it does not ruin the book or give anything away. When I first read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I didn’t know much about it. A warning that simply stated : Warning: Graphic Rape scene would have sufficed. I could have prepared myself for it. I still would have read the book, because the revenge is awesome, and I could tell by the summary it was going to be a good book. I think it’s important to have warning’s, especially if the whole book is pretty much about rape, I do not read those types of books, I’m sorry, but rape is in no way entertaining!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m really glad you said that because I was debating whether or not I should read it. Someone said “be warned it’s a little vulgar” and so my assumption was sexual assault.I definitely think that something like that needs to be included

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent topic! I’m the “on the fence” category. I’m actually in library school right now and I’m taking a class on intellectual freedom and censorship – and last week we discussed trigger warnings! I think the biggest issue I have with trigger warnings is calling them “trigger warnings.” Like, if you have experienced trauma, literally anything can be a trigger: a color, a smell, a phrase, what have you. The content doesn’t have to explicitly be about traumatic events in order to be a trigger. Then it would suck if someone could pick up a book without a warning, thinking it will be fine, and be triggered. I think if people want to start labeling books, they should follow a rating system like films use, like you mentioned. Films don’t have trigger warnings, but no one is calling for trigger warnings on films because they already have a generally accepted rating system. They also have trailers that you can gauge the content from, just like the descriptions on the backs of books. Adding the ratings would be a good middle ground on the issue – it wouldn’t be censorship, it would be just like the movies! Pair that with reading the description on the back, and that should be fine. I don’t know if that will ever happen, but I also don’t think putting specific trigger warnings on books for certain content makes sense, cause anything can be a trigger.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. carlalouise89 says:

    I agree. I think a vague trigger warning is needed. I’ve been blindsided before, and if it’s something you’ve been through, it can be more painful than people realise. Like, Perks was described both to me (and the blurb) as an outsider kid and crappy high school. That’s what I thought it was going to be like … kind of like a Mean Girls thing. It wasn’t fair, I felt, to be thrown in the way I was. And it’s not the first time I’ve felt that way. Just a small something that gives me an idea about the main problem is all I’d want. It’s not that I mind reading those books, I just want to know that I’m reading them. Reading them isn’t the problem – it’s being caught off guard that is. Does that make sense?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Josh Wrenn says:

    Tough one on this, Simply because you never know what will trigger someone. For me, I am triggered by the seemingly mundane, that makes me relive things anything less. Graphic descriptions of the events are less of a trigger for me than references to the background or things I remember from those events. So it is tough for me to say it should happen, given my own triggers. On the other hand, if I am writing a post that I know is harsh, I try to include something that might let someone know what is coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right. I understand that really anything can trigger someone but I think if it’s going to be a graphic scene (that’s unpredictable) then there should be some sort of warning. Like if I know a book is about a murder case but then there’s a sexual assault, I would like to be warned

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ariel Lynn says:

    Since I started following some of the blogs you follow, I’ve heard this topic discussed. I feel like I cheated!

    Anyway, back on topic: I absolutely think that books should contain trigger warnings. What people don’t seem to understand, as far as I can tell, is that people who desire trigger warnings aren’t afraid that they’ll get upset. They’re afraid of reliving a traumatic event. Every sight. Every smell. Every pain. Every fear. People who don’t understand PTSD don’t understand trigger warnings.

    Also, I read on one of the other blogs a fantastic suggestion – why not put the trigger warnings in the area where the copyright information is so that people who don’t want to read it don’t have to read it? Or, if the printer/publisher can’t put it there (for whatever reason), give it a separate page in the front or the back of the book? It doesn’t have to be in the description or anywhere a person needs to read it unless they want to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: This or That? #53 – Lolsys Library

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