The Granite Tower
Losing the Initial Purpose as a Self-improvement Book
Youn Bo Hyun  |
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승인 2019.10.07  22:37:39
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People read self-improvement books at the times when they feel tired of their busy and repetitive lives. They try not to be frustrated by the tough matters they face by reading other people’s lives through self-improvement books. There are many attitudes toward lives from different people, and self-improvement books give broader insights of life through different thoughts from others. Currently, though, some self-improvement books in Korea are losing its essence, arousing many concerns that the initial purpose of those books is disappearing.

As the primary significance of self-improvement books is to make individuals realize that there are different types of people, the public can earn wider insights and perspectives of people through the same situation. Each person has different opinions, and books enable people to deal with the variation and to make their relation more stable. In the current society where people freely express their thoughts and try to respect others’ opinions, there could be also many disputes and differences among people, and books may propose solutions for each situation. These are the reasons why people read books and why books have significance to the public.

Among those books, self-improvement books especially focus on the personal situation and experience overcoming difficulties. By reading these books, people can learn about other methods to face problems, so it has been an essential tool to get advice when people have challenges. Nowadays, however, there are people who worry that some books concentrate less on the original purpose to give advice through the author’s experience and focus more on gaining popularity by using the images of famous characters and brands. Recently, it is a common phenomenon to see many book covers using them, such as Pooh or Apeach.

This situation may lead to the negative recognition of self-improvement books as being merely diaries of other people. Although some of them only talk about their difficulties and do not give advice with objective methods and research results to the readers, they easily become best-sellers because they use famous images. This is not the same as the initial purpose of the books, and the concern is increasing nowadays that the purpose must not be lost. If the contents are less useful, then people do not have a reason to read them since a book is not same as a diary.

Self-improvement books could be just an essay if they only consist of their experiences, not containing any specific data. To check the content, more thorough examination is needed before publishing the book. Therefore, there should be more limitations when proofreading is done by the book publishing companies. Nowadays, the titles of the books are also similar to each other, mostly sending the message, “It is okay to do something.” Famous characters are highlighted in promotion of the book, instead of the unique contents of each book.

As people are living in tough situations, these self-help books try to console them and carry the purpose to make them feel calm and comfortable. However, too many similar books saying the same message seem just like essays and some people comment that they are just like diaries. The freedom of publishing one’s own book is indeed possible, but there should be more time to think about better contents by including more precise research data, as well as personal experiences. This method can effectively convey the true significance of self-improvement books extensively.

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