Are self help books still relevant?

I will be the first to admit that I have not read nearly enough self – help  books. This industry is growing rapidly and according to Susan Krauss Whitbourne from Forbes there are currently 475000 different self help titles available for sale on Amazon.With so much variety why is it so hard to find a few that actually are worth finishing. Here is my theory.

Every New Year’s Day we all make new resolutions. Inevitably we promise to read more specifically books that make us better people. What goes wrong year after year? Why do we throw away the book after just 30 pages or less. This is my theory.

Most self-help books feel to preachy.  They are either too technical or lack practicality. It often feels like they are written by authors who focus too much on the topic on hand and forget that we need entertainment. So what are the characteristics of a great self-help book.

Author has credentials Academic credentials are great in certain topics. However most of the time nothing beats life experience.

Quality writing Writing should not be too technical, easy to understand and entertaining.

Motivational – It should lift your spirits.

On that note I’d say follow your heart and read only what interests you. Here are my favourites.

  1. The Subtle Art of not giving a fuck by Mark Manson.
  2. Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill.
  3. Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
  4. Mastery – Robert Greene

All these authors wrote in a meaningful unconventional way. The was never a dull moment.


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