On Self-Help Books: What to Try and Why

For as long as I've been able to read I've been reading nearly every day. There has never been a time when I didn't have a book (or a few) on my bedside table, waiting for me to wind down before sleep. Most days it's fiction, but every once in a while, a current bestseller self-help or how-to finds its way into my hands. I don't remember the first self-help book I read, but I remember how I felt opening it: "This is it. I will read this book and my life will be changed forever. I will be the happiest, most beautiful and successful woman to ever walk this earth. Yes." After a few books of the sort, when it obviously didn't happen, I just gave up on unrealistic expectations and started reading

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