Why self-help books aren’t that much helpful

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If you go on Amazon or any bookstore you find hundreds and thousands of self-help books. In these times, most people are sad and demotivated. Everybody is looking for answers to how to be happy or how to live the good life. Most of them tried to find it in books. When we get to the self-help section we see thousands of books on self-help and motivation. And many are coming out every year. Let’s see few points about why most of these books are not useful as they say it is.

  • Most self-help books give the same advice.

If you have ever read lots of self-help books. Even though there are lots of books with different titles. You will notice that most of them gives you same advice but in different way or style. Most of the advice is quite self-explanatory like work hard. Be happy. Drink lots of water. You don’t need to spend money or time reading a book which tells you to for things Which you probably know already.

  • Books are so long but their advice is not.

 I am not saying books shouldn’t be long. I love reading long books. They are many nonfiction, psychological or philosophical books which are long but they have proper content or information about topics within these books. While some self-help books are so much long for no reason. They repeat the same thing over and over to fill pages. Some of the ideas could have been good blog posts that are turned into self-help books. It is like they just want to increase pages so they could sell books for high prices.

  • Self-help books gives you illusion of accomplishment.

When you read self books about topics of productivity or public speaking. You get satisfaction or you are exhilarated that you are finally doing something to improve your life skills. But unless you apply those techniques you doing nothing but a reading book. It’s like reading a book on learning cycling. You feel content that you finally know how to ride a bicycle but you haven’t actually ridden a bicycle. 

  • What’s an Alternative for self-help books?

Aside from usual self books, you could try the following types of books which can provide a way to improve life. 

Psychological: psychological nonfiction books about the brain, mental illness are a great way to learn about why humans behave a certain way. if what are experiencing is normal or not or what can we do about it. 

Memoirs/ biographies:  There are some great memoirs which tell the story of people just like us who struggle and work hard achieve success and happiness in their life. It gives a different perspective on life how other people did it. What we can take from their life story and apply it in our own. 

Philosophy: Though philosophy books are a little difficult to read. There are many beginner friendly books that give us insights into life. Even though these books don’t give a direct answer but it gives a lot to think about our life.

Does this mean you shouldn’t read self books? Well of course not. To me, every book is great if it is well written. It’s just that you shouldn’t go into the rabbit hole of self-help books. Once you finish one book you will find that in the market there is another book with the same topic and get that book to learn more about self-help or there is a sequel to a book you have read where the author has expanded his ideas. And you just buy one after another various self books.  While you do nothing, in reality, useful for self-improvement. In this case you will be helping only authors of books and publishers except you.

That’s it for this article. I hope you have found this useful. Thank you for reading.


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