The Power of Self-help Books

By J1 Reporter Lucy Loughran

  During a time of such mental and physical duress in the year of 2020, it can be difficult to find an outlet to relieve stress or improve mental health. One way that has become more popular to get away from the chaos of daily life during quarantine is seeking personal or professional help from a book. Self-help books, also known as inspirational or motivational books, have a main goal of simply helping readers change or better their lives, whether that be personally or professionally. 

          Books have been known to provide an escape from daily life, but self-help books in particular obtain a more specific goal: to improve the life of readers in some aspect. Popular books under this genre include 9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life, by Henry Cloud, and The Power of Now Journal, by Elkhart Tolle. 

Mrs. Priscilla Trecek, Learning Services Coordinator, with a stack of her favorite self-help books. Photo by Lucy Loughran

          When asking Learning Services Coordinator Mrs. Priscilla Trecek, who reads self-help and inspirational books through a book club, if these books truly have a positive effect on mental health, she confirmed that they do. “They (the books) make you dig into what you need to heal from, in a nice way, and let you know what steps to take to get onto the right path,” she said.

          However, it can be difficult to find the time to read for entertainment; Trecek suggested a route to solve this predicament: join a book club. Either virtual or socially-distanced and in person, book clubs can encourage members to complete a certain amount of reading under an allotted amount of time. 

          A short list of books suggested to Marian girls by Trecek are? Captivating, by John and Stacy Eldridge, and Boundaries, by Henry Cloud. “Captivating empowers women and makes me think of Marian girls,” Trecek said.

          One place with access to self-help books from various genres— physical, mental, and emotional— is the Marian Library. Librarian Mrs. Molly Raabe has organized books in the library using the Dewey decimal system; this means the self-help books are found in the order of their subject. 

          Though there is no single self-help section, Raabe points out that this allows girls searching for helpful books to avoid possible stigmas which may exist around seeking mental, physical or emotional help from a book

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The Network is the student newspaper of Marian High School, Nebraska's only Class A College-Preparatory School for young women.

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