Self-Help Books —Am I Doing This Right?

By definition, I’m in the midst of my quarter-life crisis. It’s expected; It’s whatevs. But what I didn’t expect is the books. I have become a self-help book person. Not only do I read them, I take notes. My current favorites are adorned with neon sticky notes, highlighting the sections that might provide me the most help. Who am I?

I blame my high school teachers Ms. Everett-Kennedy and Mrs. Grupe. They taught us we should never read a book without a pen in hand. And now, nearly eight years later, I’m thinking critically and jotting notes about how I can purge my closet and network more effectively. Gag. I’m overachieving in my leisure reading.

How can I evaluate whether or not the self-help books are helping me self-help? Is there some sort of metric I should know about? Either way, I find them soothing. Enough people have been through the same brouhaha of twenty-somethingness that there are hundreds of books catering to our specific anxieties.

So far I’ve read Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown and I loved it. She’s a journalist who reached out to the adulting pros in her life to pass along their concrete advice. Not only does she tell us to “get the most basic implements” for the kitchen, she also gives a list of what those tools actually are.

I also started 101 Secrets For Your Twenties by Paul Angone. I don’t quite like it as much. It’s a little preachy and gives less concrete advice. And a lot of his secrets aren’t so secret. Because I definitely already knew making and keeping friends at this life stage “is harder than G.I. Joe’s abs.” I’ve honestly not made it past secret 12, so maybe it gets better?

Let me know what you think: are you a self-help book person? Has a particular book really helped you figure life out? Let me know in the comments below!



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