No Help Is Better Than Self Help

I read a lot. And sometimes, I read self-help books.

I’m not super clear why. Occasionally, I’ve gotten them as a present. Or someone strongly recommends one. The ABC has a few on their favorites list. My father suggests some.

Here’s what self-help I’ve read so far in 2018:

How To Stop Feeling Like Shit
The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck
The Life-Changing Magic Of Not Giving A Fuck
Business Without The Bullshit
The Asshole Survival Guide
The 4-Hour Work Week
You Are A Badass
The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People

And I sat down to write this blog post today, I started The How Of Happiness. I had put in a hold for it at the library and it just showed up.

I don’t think I’m a self-help book sort of person. I’m generally pretty happy and fairly confident, which are two of the things self-help books often address. I read two books this year on giving fewer fucks and I already…don’t give very many fucks. Yet somehow, I read them.

Pretty much all of these books are useless at best. Some of them have taken information that would be condensed into a 2,000 word article and fluffed it out into books. The advice in others is mostly survivorship bias. Still others are just basic common knowledge dipped in well-written language.

I will say I actually liked The Life-Changing Magic Of Not Giving A Fuck, but the advice is pretty standard from any Dear Prudie column. It’s not bad, I’m just not sure it’s book worthy.

Meanwhile, The 4-Hour Work Week is absolutely bad. White dude with all the privileges (went to Princeton, for fuck’s sake) gets absurdly rich supplements, of all shady things, and then lectures everyone that they should get rich working less.

I’m going to finish The How Of Happiness, because I can’t not finish a book. And I have a few other (mostly work-related) books on my to-read list. Then no more.

I should take the other ones off my to-read list, but I my OCD won’t let me remove a book without reading it. If someone could write a self-help book about that, I might break my rule.