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The Book Devotions

How to screen a book for content warnings and triggers

Published 3 months ago • 2 min read

Hey, Reader!

It's winter, and it seems like everyone is getting sick. Earlier this week, I was reminded of the immune-boosting properties of garlic.

So, without thinking too much about it, I chopped up a fresh clove, mixed it with a spoonful of honey, and down the hatch.

The time from "chop" to "swallow" was less than two minutes, and, OH.

My esophagus objected. My tummy flip-flopped. Medically, I was fine, just uncomfortable. And I stank to high heaven. Many apologies to my longsuffering husband.

If I'd phoned a friend or consulted a reliable internet source, I would've known that I could've had a much better experience if I'd soaked the garlic in the honey for a month or so before eating it.

Sometimes I gulp down a book like I did the honey-garlic concoction. Without thinking first.

I'm a third of the way through, and I encounter something that I wish I'd known about from the get-go.

For example, I'm not a fan of open-door bedroom scenes. I can't do graphic violence or anything borderline horror. Clowns? I'm fine with them, no prob.

How do you know AHEAD of time that a book contains content that you object to?

By doing a little research. It's easy, quick, and fairly reliable.

You will likely spoil some plot points during the vetting process, but it may be worth it if you're squeamish about certain things—or if you must avoid certain triggers to maintain your mental health.

So, I'm putting together a guide for you. It'll explain how to find content and trigger warnings for any book.

It's not done quite yet, but I'll share it as soon as it's finished.

In the meantime, two great sites that are dedicated to trigger warnings are

Trigger Warning Database

Book Trigger Warnings

But these sites don't contain the general content warnings that some of us desire. I'll show you how to find those by searching Amazon and Goodreads reviews. It's simple! You just need to know what search terms to use.

So, something to look forward to!

The Lord is good,
a strong hold in the day of trouble;
and he knoweth them that trust in him.
–Nahum 1:7

Book Lover's Grab Bag

🏰 How Fairy Tales Enchant Us. I'm not as into podcasts as I once was, but I couldn't resist this title.

🌎 Life Is Too Small Without Books. Couldn't have said it better myself.

❤️‍🩹 The Therapeutic Benefits of Writing a Novel. Interesting perspective. I've heard various writers say this in different ways—writing, even recreationally, is good for you. Do you write?

As always, I'll leave you with one irresistible indulgence—this shop has the best bookish T-shirt designs out there.

Your devoted,

Michelle

P.S. Know someone who'd love this newsletter? Here's where they can sign up.

The Book Devotions

Michelle Watson

I'm a homeschool mom who loves to read. Every week, I email you book recommendations and reviews, fun printables, bits of bookish news. Come on over and read with us! We'd love to have you.

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