If you are a reader, you are already well aware of the power that books hold. They transport you to different worlds and let you have a peek into different people's lives.
Books are a great tool to get past many situations in life. Romance or fantasy as a tool for escapism, non-fiction for learning about the world, mystery and thrillers that keep you turning the page; books of every genre are well-loved.
If you don't have a habit of reading, I'm sure you have already heard it all from the readers in your life, "Reading is good for you," "Give it a try you'll love it," blah blah. For non-readers, books are always either: 1. I tried, but I could never finish one or 2. I'm just not very interested in reading. If you relate to one or both of the statements above, we are here to help.
Reading is great for a multitude of reasons; it exercises your brain, improves concentration and focus, and is a form of (relatively) free entertainment. A great starting point for new readers is self-help books.
Okay, but do they work?
Self-help books are written in an easy-to-understand fashion aimed at a wide array of audiences. Books aimed towards self-improvement are great for when we need to learn new skills, need a helping hand in life, or simply for personal growth. They come in a variety of topics ranging from financial help to how to be happier. Self-help books provide us with a starting point for building good habits. They are great at helping us identify what areas of our life need improvement and how to work towards it.
For all the pros, there is an equal amount of cons to self-help books as well. As a multi-billion dollar industry, there are bound to be numerous scams and people looking to make a quick buck. It's essential to differentiate the good from the bad.
To make your research easier, here is a list of 10 easy to read self-help books that will improve your quality of life:
1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck - Mark Manson
The second book by Mark Manson is a breath of fresh air as it does not promote the same toxic positivity people expect from general self-help books. He argues that mindless positivity promoted by those books is not practical advice people can apply to daily life. In the 224-page book, Manson drives home the point that life's struggles are what gives it meaning if we chase after happiness; it simply means that we don't already have it. In short, this book is about learning how to not give a fck and the things that don't matter and giving more fcks about the things that do.
2. The Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg
American author Charles Duhigg explores the science behind habit formation in this book. He explains the importance of habits and how to make or break the 'habit loop.' The Habit Loop, a concept that is a core part of this book, is the pattern that governs habits. Understanding this loop helps us get rid of bad habits or form good ones. This book is great for everyone who wants to create a new habit, like going to the gym, sleeping on time, etc.
3. The Secret - Rhonda Byrne
A quintessential self-help book, The Secret explains the law of attraction. Byrne creates a three-step process of ask, believe, and receive. Although there is no scientific backing supporting Byrne's claims of attracting things you want, it puts into perspective how we think affects how we behave, and eventually, what we receive in life. A big focus of the book is gratitude and how we should always be thankful for what we do have—an excellent read for those who are feeling stuck in life and want to cultivate changes.
4. Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck? - Seth Godin
A renowned author and blogger, Godin compiles six years' worth of his best, most entertaining blog posts into one easy-to-navigate book. The general idea of the book is, 'Getting your ducks in a row is a fine thing to do. But deciding what you are going to do with that duck is a far more important issue.' This quote from the book perfectly encapsulates Godin's message: having our order in life is great, but prioritizing is far more important.
5. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time - Brian Tracy
Procrastination is a problem that affects the best of us. This book provides valuable tools for chronic procrastinators. Like the title suggests, eating the frog, i.e. doing the biggest, most annoying task first significantly reduces any chances of possible procrastination. Going through the day with the satisfaction of having completed the worst task (or eating a frog) is possibly the worst that could happen. Eating your frogs first thing in the morning, metaphorically, of course, helps you with getting things done, as the worst of it is already over.
6. Gmorning, Gnight! - Lin-Manuel Miranda
From the mind of one of our generation's best composers, Gmorning, Gnight! is a collection of little pep talks with wonderfully illustrated artworks. Easy and fun to read with great illustrations, this book helps us appreciate the little things in life, and also be appreciative of the hard work we have accomplished through the day. A great way to start and end the day, this book is perfect for novice readers.
7. The Body Is Not an Apology - Sonya Renee Taylor
This book is for all of us who are having a hard time struggling to find good in the world. The radical form of self-love is an excellent reminder for those of us who have been beaten down by society. The message of the book is that when the world tears us down, we must celebrate ourselves. This book carries the message: Empowered people empower people. When we as individuals accept ourselves, flaws and all, we can help other people accept themselves too.
8. Declutter Your Mind - Barrie Davenport and S. J. Scott
This book is the perfect read for when you're stuck in an anxiety spiral. This book helps us to deal with overwhelming thoughts, overthinking, and mental clutter by providing the reader with specific techniques of practising mindfulness. The base idea is to use these techniques to create more space for positive thoughts. This book is a reminder to us that taking care of our mental wellbeing is just as important as looking after the physical. Think of it as Marie Kondo-ing for your brain.
9. Year of Yes - Shonda Rhimes
Yes, THE Shonda Rhimes, creator of super-hit TV shows like Grey's Anatomy and Scandal. In this book, she candidly speaks about how saying Yes majorly improved her life. A true introvert, Rhimes speaks about how often she said 'no' in life simply because it meant that there is nothing new to fear. The base argument that Rhimes put forth in this book is that saying no out of fear will keep you stuck in the loop of fear. Learning how to say yes, makes us face our fears, and often we come to find that it was never that big of a deal anyway.
10. How to Sort Your Fcking Life Out - Greg Zuckerman
In this brutally honest book, Zuckerman explains that there are no quick fixes to life. Essentially, a "call out," this book gives the reader a reality check on how many people use cheap marketing ploys to make easy money in the industry of self-help. Zuckerman doesn't care about any of that. The book provides complex evidence-based solutions to "sort out your life." He denounces people who buy into easy fixes because they're unwilling to accept that nothing in life is easy. This one is a great read for those of us who need that sort of tough love.