Let’s Talk Bookish: What do you do when a book triggers you?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Today’s topic is What do you do when a book triggers you?

Everyone has different reactions to triggers; what is yours? Do you have measures in place to help you avoid books that could potentially trigger you?

I don’t really have too many triggers when it comes to books apart from really graphic violence. There are certain topics that I prefer to avoid reading about as I find them disturbing, but generally speaking, if I know what to expect in advance and as long as it isn’t too extreme, I can handle it. I always browse through a couple of reviews before I add a book to my TBR, just to make sure there isn’t any content I’d rather avoid. Of course, with ARCs and newer titles, this is not an option, so it’s not possible to always be forewarned.

If you get triggered without previously knowing there would be a trigger, do you still care to finish the book? Does it affect your eventual rating/review? Have you ever read a book knowing that something within it would trigger you?

If I happen upon a trigger without warning and I’m not in the right mindset for that book, the outcome usually is a reading slump. So I prefer to put the book down and try something else. I may come back to it another time if I still find myself interested in the story but I don’t force myself to finish any book.

If there isn’t a warning about a major trigger in a book, it definitely brings down my rating and will be reflected in my review of the book, because such an occurrence directly impacts my reading experience and I don’t want to finish any book with negative or disturbing thoughts. For this same reason, if I know for certain there is triggering content in a book, I won’t pick it up if I think I can’t handle it even if the story sounds interesting.

What do you do when a book triggers you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

6 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: What do you do when a book triggers you?

  1. Bargain Sleuth Book Reviews September 17, 2021 / 12:21 pm

    I was just reading an ARC and a woman in her 70s had a stroke and was struggling to recover and that sort of set me off because while my mother didn’t have a stroke, she’s been having major health issues since the beginning of August and I just didn’t want to read about more health problems. But I powered through because it was an ARC, otherwise I probably would have put the book down until things leveled out with my Mom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) September 20, 2021 / 9:35 pm

      I’m sorry to hear that, hope your mom recovers soon. I agree, content warning are really important and useful in this way as well, so that a reader can judge if it’s the right time for them to pick up a certain book. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!


  2. itsKoo September 18, 2021 / 1:42 am

    I agree with you. Knowing ahead of time can be helpful because it provides readers time to consider whether they still want to read the book. I never realized it until you mentioned it but it can lead me to a slump as well…where I don’t feel like reading or I need to reread something to make me feel better.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. aimal @ the devils we find September 19, 2021 / 1:56 pm

    This is why I think putting content warnings in books and reviews is so important, because you never know what can trigger someone who unknowingly went into a book. Reading should be fun, and an escape from the troubles in one’s life – people should be informed so that they don’t go into a book risking emotional stress. I’m privileged enough that I don’t have triggers, but sometimes I do read a deeply unsettling scene that forces me to put aside the book for a bit and do something else to take my mind off things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) September 20, 2021 / 9:45 pm

      I agree, it’s very important for readers to know what to expect from a book beforehand so that it’s possible to make an informed decision. Thanks for reading!


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