I am reading a new self-help book this week, The Diary of a CEO.

And it got me thinking, *I must have read hundreds of these. Are they actually helping?*

I got into the rabbit hole of figuring out how many I have read exactly and what impact they had.

Thanks to Goodreads, I learned I have read a total of 704 books in my lifetime, and 235 of them are in the self-help category.

Exactly one-third of my reading has been on learning how to help myself.

**So did they work? Did they actually help me help myself?**

Short answer, mostly yes.

Long answer, this story.

**But first, what is a self-help book?**

You will see below I mention books that don’t sound like motivational books we think of when we hear the term self-help because actually, self-help includes a diverse category of books.

A dictionary description of self-help is ‘the acts of helping or bettering oneself without the aid of others’. In the context of books, self-help is a form of coping with one’s personal problems …