In the video clip below, Mark Hansen, author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, debates Steve Salerno on Anderson Cooper about whether or not the self-help industry does any good. Steve Salerno says that personal development books are not helpful because the same people continue to buy them, which he believes is an indication that the books do not fix the problem. Mark Hansen argues against Steve Salerno by giving the analogy that people take showers everyday to get clean. Similarly, people regularly read self-help books to keep their interior clean.
Another analogy is that reading personal development books is like exercise. People keep continue to exercise when they are in good physical shape in order to stay healthy. Likewise, people continue to read self-help books in order to remain internally strong. Additionally, people go through different phases of their life that each have their own set of challenges. Each phase and challenge that people go through may require additional qualities, tools and understanding about how to best approach the situation. So, often people read more self-help books to get the answers they need to the specific questions in order to enjoy and successfully grow throughout each unique phase of their life.