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How do I Choose the Best Self-Help Books?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 July 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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There seems to be a wide selection of self-help books on the market today. No matter what type of emotional, spiritual, social, or mental issue is causing distress, there are likely to be at least a few books claiming to be the answer to your problems. Because there are so many self-help books around, it can take some effort to move past the books with questionable information and focus on books that are truly helpful.

Your first task is to determine just what type of self-help books you need. Perhaps you are looking for a self-help tool that will aid you in recovering from a phobia. Your search may revolve around seeking help for stress, depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia. You may be a new parent that it seeking self-help books that will support you in your desire to be a responsible and effective parent. Knowing what you are looking for will make it much easier to avoid being sidetracked as you conduct the search.

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Once you find a few self-help books that appear to address your concerns, spend some time researching the author or authors of each book on your list. Your goal is to establish that the author does have the experience and the educational credentials to address the subject matter. Fortunately, the Internet makes it relatively easy to verify data such as degrees held, years of experience in a relevant field, and the professional standing of the author. Reject self-help books that are obviously written to make quick money, and direct your attention toward books written by recognized experts.

After narrowing your list of possibilities to self-help books authored by recognized authorities, take some time to find out what others are saying about each of those books. Seek out reviews in literary journals, newspapers, and magazines. These can often help you identify what others perceive as strengths and weaknesses in the text. Many reviews will also quote sections of the books, which will help you get a sense of whether a particular book is likely to be helpful in your situation.

Don’t forget to check out online information about any self-help book that seems to be a good choice. Today, it is possible to locate forums on just about any subject. Many of these forums will include posts containing reader comments about different self-help books. When used in conjunction with the professional reviews, comments from people who’ve read the books for themselves can be invaluable. Even if you find that some readers sing the praises of certain books while considering others a waste of time and money, their experiences can go a long way in assisting you to zero in on one or two books that are highly likely to help you with your problem.

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