Advantages and disadvantages of reading self-help books

Book Suggestions, Self Help


Everyone is talking about self-help books. It has become a trend to post on social media about such books. But one wonders about the advantages and disadvantages of reading self-help books. To get the most out of reading such books, it is imperative to know both pros and cons.

 If you are already reading a self-help book or thinking of reading one, there are questions in mind like, do such books really work? , should I trust them? Etc. This article attempts to answer all such questions in the light of research and expert opinion. I hope that after reading this article, there will be no doubts left in your mind.

The need for self-help.

The first and essential question that needs to be answered is why people need self-help? There are many reasons for this. It varies from person to person. But there are a few general patterns that are common in most people.

Self-help empowers. It helps you take control of your own destiny. Addressing your own problems is emotionally satisfying. It makes you feel like a responsible adult who can take care of him/herself. This is encouraging for anyone going through personality disorders.

Everyone likes a person who is mature enough to take care of themselves. It gives that person a good repute among their peers. This boosts self-confidence and gives the person the opportunity to become more social. 

There are many similar reasons why people choose self-help. It is a good way to transform your personality if utilized well.

Does self-help book really work?

The simple answer to this question is, yes they work if you want them to. There are many ways to get most out of reading a book.Whenever you read a self-help book, the work starts when you close the book, not when you open it. You can read thousands of books and observe no improvement in your life. Action is very important for such books to work.

The best way to make self-help books work is, to take customized lessons from the book. Different strategies and lessons in such books are not applicable to everyone. It depends on the reader’s understanding to extract lessons that can work in his living conditions.

Why should you not rely on self-help books?

As mentioned earlier, it is useless to read books if you are not going to act on what you learned from them. It is also vital to know the difference between theoretical knowledge and experience.

You may read a book on swimming. You may read it twice or thrice and remember all the steps mentioned in it. Does that make you a swimmer? Can you swim? Of course not. Most of those who know swimming never read a book about it. Someone taught them to do it practically.

That’s the difference between theoretical knowledge and experience. So you don’t really need self-help books to be successful in your life. If you ever read any, take lessons from it, and implement them in your life.
Book review: Every Last Secret By A. R. Torre

Advantages and disadvantages of reading self-help books.

Let’s discuss some advantages and disadvantages of reading self-help books. After reading them, you will be able to carefully choose a book for yourselves that will really add value to your life.


Self-help books are easy to understand. They are a summary and compilation of complex psychological findings. The authors take those findings and suggest how these findings can help us solve our problems. It is not possible for a layman to understand and apply complex psychology. Self-help books make it easy for us to understand.

Self-help books offer professional advice because they are written by experts in their fields. This professional advice helps us solve problems. It also enables us to see things from a correct perspective because that’s the difference between a layman and an expert. Experts, due to their qualifications, are better able to understand and diagnose problems. Once we diagnose problems correctly, we can easily solve them. Self-help books can help us in this regard.

Self-help books make it easier to make informed choices. Self-help books can help us manage our emotions, stress and other personality issues. If a reader follows and acts on the advice in such books, they are going to develop a strong personality. Such strong people are able to make informed and better choices. This is a vital part of any successful life.


Most self-help books are a waste of time because the author makes a basic point in the first few pages. He has nothing more to say about the subject but he is forced by the publisher to produce a thick manuscript. Therefore, most authors end up writing much more on the subject than they want to. This makes most self-help books boring and a waste of time.

When someone has read a lot of self-help books or watched lectures by motivational speakers, they feel very positive about almost everything. This makes them uncritical about many things in life. Most self-help books ask to focus on the only positive side of things. While it is good to stay positive, it is also important to critically analyze situations before making any decision. Critical analysis is a very important life tool. 

Why I Stopped Reading Self-Help Books

Reading a lot of self-help literature creates a false hope in the mind of a reader. Such books only show the bright side of life. They create an illusion of perfect life in which there are no sorrows, failures or setbacks. This takes a person away from reality. Life is a combination of both success and failure. In each person’s life, there will be good and bad moments. 

Final verdict

You might be thinking at the end that whether we should read self-help books or not? In my opinion, there is no harm in reading self-help books if you are smart enough to extract lessons that fit your circumstance. If you do not become elusive after reading such books, then such books can be helpful if read in a limited amount. I hope you liked the article. Let me know, what’s your favorite self-help book.

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