Delusional and mad they may be, but I love my big pile of self-help books

The Belfast Telegraph:

Do you need help? Well, help yourself. Fill, as it were, your boots. Your own boots, mind. Yup, we live in do-it-yourself society or, perhaps more accurately, a read about doing-it-yourself society.

We can’t help buying self-help books. Self-certified gurus have taken the place of priests and ministers, who fell from grace with the discovery by Darwin that they were talking cack.

Even then, it was a rare Sunday in church when you’d be offered five ways to improve your self-esteem, make friends through aromatherapy, or what to expect in the afterlife. Well, true, they did mention the last, but never fleshed out the detail beyond a suggestion that there’d be a lot of singing and you’d have to wear a nightgown.

I’m not saying self-help has all been brilliant. Heaven forfend. I’m a newspaper columnist: we never praise anything, but always come to bury. In particular the scourge of positive thinking has wreaked havoc on the world. Keep smiling. Get a glazed look in your eye. Oh, I’m so happy. Not on my watch you ain’t, matey.

Read the whole story: Belfast Telegraph

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