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Want to feel more confident, implement new habits or set daily routines that you can stick to, or become more productive? Self-help books can make you feel happier and healthier.


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Jack Canfield

Motivational speaker Jack Canfield is the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. With over 65 books to his credit, Canfield has taken the inspirational advice he delivered in his speeches and forged one of the most popular book series in print.

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Self-help books have roots dating back as far as the 18th century when pamphlets prescribing certain social behaviors — referred to as "conduct books" — would circulate in communities. The self-help books that line shelves today are quite different, featuring more contemporary history starting in the 60s and 70s. Since that time, self-help books for men and women have become a cultural mainstay, with new additions to the genre being released all the time. There is a reason self-help books for women are so popular—it offers the opportunity to examine ourselves, find ways to grow, and discover new ideas. Self-help books for men are popular, too, providing tips for masculine fulfillment. If you're looking for the best self-help books, look no further. ThriftBooks has the best selection of cheap self-help books, new and used, for you to choose from.

What Are the Best Self-Help Books?

There are many self-help books on the market claiming to provide transformative wisdom—but how do you know which one is best for you? You can start by looking at the top self-help books in each genre — career advancement, relationship guidance, weight loss, and mental health improvement are just a few of the self-help sub-genres that commonly top bestseller lists. Identify which of these most closely aligns with your goals and start looking at the books in that genre.

One of the top self-help books in the career advancement category is The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. It covers basic ideas of work-life balance and offers readers guidance on how to live better while working less. It claims to be the inspiration for countless readers who have been able to multiply their income while slashing their work hours.

Another one of the most popular self-help books is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. Initially published in 1989, it has had a remarkable staying power and remains one of the most recommended self-help books for general self-improvement. Readers can enjoy guidance on how to optimize their interactions with others and build rewarding relationships.

How Can Self Help Books Inspire You?

Many people misunderstand self-help books and approach them hoping for an easy fix to a problem. If you're lucky, you might find a book like The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up that does, indeed, change your life — but more often than not, self-help books should be a source of inspiration rather than an end-all, be-all solution. This prompts the question — how exactly can a self-help book inspire you?

Readers have drawn inspiration from this genre for decades, and you can, too. You can get the most out of a self-help book if you put more into it. For example, if you're reading a book about how to have healthy relationships, you're likely to see better results if you take the time to make notes throughout your reading session — jotting down examples of how you might apply the book's strategies in your own day-to-day interactions.

Similarly, you should approach self-help books with an open mind. This means you should be open to either accepting or rejecting the author's advice! Sometimes, a book simply doesn't align with your values, and it’s okay to find a new self-help book if that's the case.

Discover Your Own Potential Through Reading

Few genres allow readers to unleash their own potential the way that the self-help genre does. Whether you want to lose weight, improve your career, or find love, there's a book out there that covers it — and you’ll find it at ThriftBooks. Our selection of cheap self-help books is unbeatable, so you can stock up on all the books you need.

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