I read THIS post on Midnightbiblioblog’s blog about trigger warning books, and I wanted to share my opinions on the topic. Yeah I know it has been a while, but I haven’t been able to post my thoughts before now.
My short answer on the topic is: No! Book publishers should not be obligated to trigger warning their books.
And here is my opinion why. First there is 1000+ things people can get triggered by. I’ll give you some examples from the book Divergent, that many of you might have read. There will be some minor spoilers.
There is a scene where one of the characters that is claustrophobic gets locked in this tiny tiny box. His problem with this gets describes quite detailed. Some people that are claustrophobic might have problems reading this scene. Should we trigger warn this book that it contains a claustrophobic scene?
Divergent shortly mentions food. Food for some people, especially if they have an eating disorder might be a trigger. Should this book have a trigger warning since it mentions food?
A lot of people hate, and some might have a strong anxiety towards needles. Should this book have a trigger warning since it contains scenes with needles?
This was just a few examples that I thought of, that some people might have problems with. My point is: you can have trigger warnings on everything, and it still will not be enough. There are probably over 1000+ different things that might be a trigger. Should book publishers be obligated to write every little thing that might trigger some people? What happens when the one random thing one person gets triggered by isn’t on the list? How long will the list be? Who chooses what should be on the list?
I’ll take myself as an example. I’m struggling with this random and not very common thing that makes me anxious, and mentions of this can trigger me. This gets very personal:
I have an anxiety towards illness/sickness, and also more exact towards having allergies. There is one book I could never have read, or not at this time at least (maybe in the future, who knows), and I will use this book as an example. The book is Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. This book is about this girl that is allergic to the world, and she can’t leave her house because of that.
You know what, it isn’t the book’s problem, it is mine. I get anxious only thinking about that book, even reading reviews of it. So should reviewers have to trigger warning their posts also?
The only exceptions to this subject may be if a major theme in a book is suicide, rape etc. Or other things that a larger group of people might be triggered by. That is a whole new question.
What do you think? Let me know, I would love to hear your opinion. And remember I’m not a professional in anything, and this is just my opinion and thoughts.
P.S. I don’t think there is nothing wrong if you want to write triggers for a book in your review or blog/Twitter/anywhere. That is your choice, and it is great that you want to help other people.