ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing

I’m Getting Rid Of The Self Help Books

Updated on March 12, 2010


I can’t take it anymore. I simply can’t take how much stuff I have in my life. Wasn’t it the great George Carlin who did the big monologue about “stuff?” So recently as I looked around my life I started thinking about what I need and what I don’t need. I’m getting rid of the self help books – Don’t Get Me Started!

I don’t know that I’ve ever made it through one of the self help books I own. That’s not true, I made it through “Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway” but that’s about the extent of it. I never got through the whole feelings buried inside that cause me cancer book. I never got through the identity book that was supposed to help me find out who I was or any of the other ones. I’m hoping that someone somewhere at the Goodwill where these books are ending up will get some value from all of these books that I’m finally discarding. I did think about taking them to several different Goodwill drop off locations, lest the people who accept (and give me my tax deductible receipt) think that I’m a basket case or suicidal giving away things to clean up my life before I end it but then I’d have to buy another book that teaches me how to become rational and I passed that ages ago.

The strange thing is that I don’t know how all these books came to be in my collection. But there they are and I must admit that I seem to have way many more self help books than anyone should possess. More to the point, if someone saw this collection they would think that I’m a complete nutbag (I think that’s the technical term for it). The disheartening part is that several of them came from friends. What does that say about me? What does that say about the way my friends see me? And while I’m delighted that I’ve assisted these authors in making some money from me purchasing their books, the cycle ends now.

Look, I’m forty-five years old and while I’d like to think that I’m limber enough that if someone wanted to teach this old dog a new trick I’d have the capacity to learn it the fact of the matter is that when it comes to emotional health and my way of dealing with life, I’ve all ready reached as close to my maturity level as is going to happen. I’ve admitted that I’m a control freak, that I’m too much of a people pleaser and a host of other maladies and like the alcoholic who doesn’t really want help, I’ve decided that admitting it is not the just first step to a solution to the problem but actually IS the solution to the problem!

The truth of the matter is that the last book I read all the way through was a Harry Potter book. Look we can’t all be reading “Philosophers of the eighteenth century” or how Eli Whitney came up with the cotton gin. I embrace the fact that I’m someone who has no idea why anyone would buy a Kindle. It’s sad but there you have it, I’m not a reader. I’m more of a skimmer or reader of short stories by David Sedaris kind of reader. I embrace my shortcomings and encourage anyone in my life to do so as well. There is no handbook for my life and these books certainly aren’t going to become one anytime soon.

For those who gain great solace or insight from these types of books I have only three words for you, “Good for you” but when it comes to me these books never gave me anything other than something else to dust. Lest you think I’m only picking on self help books, I’m going to also help myself by getting rid of that mug someone got me with the definition of my name on it, the ironing board cover that has a picture of a naked man on it and a host of other things. Wow, I feel lighter all ready, maybe those books (indirectly of course) have helped! I’m getting rid of the self help books – Don’t Get Me Started!

Read More Scott @


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Don't put yourself down for being a "skimmer," I rarely read a book from cover to cover, either. If I find a single thought or idea from my readings that serve as inspiration, I feel that's as much as most people get out of a book. Conversely, if I never intend to read that first word, well--yeah, it's time to get rid of the book.

      Enjoyed reading your hub.

    • profile image

      Addiez 7 years ago

      I've got room on my shelf if you want to find a new home for your books! :) Diet books don't work for me, so I guess the information maybe correct or well researched. But at the end of the day, you can lead a horse to water, but you cant make it drink...!! Enjoyed your post!!

    • profile image

      loriamoore 7 years ago

      Funny. My mom is a hoarder and I'm a minimalist, so between the two of us I guess we're one normal person. I don't collect anything and as soon as I read books, I sell them.

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Self-help books are a nuisance, but seem to be all the rage. Apparently we're all such messes that we require an entire library to straighten ourselves out. Nice hub, and I can relate.

    • Guru-C profile image

      Cory Zacharia 7 years ago

      Thank you darling. You're the best! I think it's called Litvak humor or something like that. xoxo

    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 7 years ago from Las Vegas

      Guru - that is quite possibly the best story ever! Love it!

    • Guru-C profile image

      Cory Zacharia 7 years ago

      Great one, Scott! I'm a moderate reader. My last cover to cover was an anthology called "Brooklyn Noir", one train wreck story in particular by the great, late Ellen Miller that I re-read about ten times even though it made me sick. Before then, I spent a month on one of Isabel Allende's memoirs (oh to be so famous to have multiple memoirs - or maybe not; they have so much sadness). But to the topic of your hub, Scott, I'll never forget one day when my folks were visiting and my step-dad stopped in front of a bookcase filled with self-help, from "Men are from Mars..." to "Chop Wood, Carry Water." His eyes opened wide as he asked me, "Have you read all of these?" "Most of them," I exclaimed proudly. "So then," he asked, "why aren't you normal yet?" xoxo