Thursday, May 20, 2010
This evening I took some time out to look around a local bookshop. When looking for a new writer I often follow a process I use when trying new wines - I'll take the ones with the nicest labels thank you very much.
Tonight my search passed row after row of self help books...
Im a cynic when I comes to self-help books. I think, in the most part they only succeed in helping their authors make huge mounds of cash. While I'm on this subject, I've always wondered why airport bookstores have an inordinate number of these books. Is it because frequent flyers need more help than those who take the bus or train? Is visiting an airport bookstore really just a cry for help?
At the same time I find it odd that any odd person can write a self help book that any other odd-er person can pick off a shelf; after all one cannot simply rock up to the chemist and pick a box of Prozac or Xanax of a counter like a pack of condoms. God that would be great. Just imagine.. "Very good sir - would you like some LSD or E with that"?
I looked at the titles, and the famous authors. Witty titles and colorful labels beckoned to me like an iPad on payday, and yes I must admit I was tempted. But with so many areas for self improvement, and so few years remaining, I decided it was much better to be a Monet (fine from far away, but with an underlying complexity up close) than an open book.
P.S. Ironically, I'm still angry :)