The Self-Help Book Paradox

A lot of the best books for advising people are not actually reaching the people that need them.  Sit back, I'm having a bit of a rant.

We see those books on finance, time management, business, etc. all out there stocking shelves in bookstores.  We know there IS a lot of good stuff because we read the good ones (and occasionally the bad ones).  We also wonder just why people that need this advice are NOT reading it when we are.

I've come to realize that a lot of books advising people on careers, time management, and all the stuff I talk about here are not getting into the hands of people who need them most.  This is an odd paradox of the "career/life self help market" that people that need the most help DON'T read the books.

Books on time management?  You have to at least be aware of how lousy your time management is and THEN take an organized approach to solving it.

Books on financial management?  People aren't so hot at that period and by the time they realize they have trouble they may have bigger issues.

Books on career management?  Only going to be read, on the most part, by people who have some idea how to manage their career.

THAT'S the irony.  The books out there for jobs, careers, etc. are pitched at people who have it at least together enough to know they have a problem.

I'm not proposing a solution (hey, I said this was a bit of a rant), but am noting the oddity of it all.

Whoever finds a way to get their life/career/job self-help book into the hands of those who truly need it will cross a great barrier.

– Steven Savage