I was recently asked by a person doing a PH D research project to complete a questionaire about my use of Self Help books. I realized that I have bought and read many. I think I have bought more than I have read but still I have read many on many subjects.
I was asked what makes a good self help book. My first answer is when the advice is sensible and practical. Something I can use myself to deal with some issue I am concerned about. Many of the books are too complex and impractical. One book I really loved was "The Power of Now" by Tolle. However I could not apply his great ideas. I love his ideas but I did not know where to start. Then I read "The Presence Process" by Brown and I found a practical process I could follow.
My first self help book I recall reading was "Children The Challenge" by Driekurs. It was a very practical book about dealing with children's behavior in a family. I found incredibly profound but practical at the same time. The book had a very sane underpining of psychology. I recall that "iron clad logic of social living is cooperation."
I have read books on positive thinking, golf, spirituality, yoga, Tai Chi, and lots of other things. I have listened to tapes and CD's in my car when I commuted to work about two hours a day.
I have kept an open mind on most subjects and I am looking for new ideas. Those that are practical and sensible I will use and the others I dismiss.
I suspect some people think self help books are a waste of time but for me they represent an important part of my learning.