People do, though. They fall for preposterous claims regularly. How else can you explain paid programming and psychic hotlines and conspiracy theories? We are suckers. And publishers, for one, have our number. They grab our attention and, yoink, pick our pockets clean.
Have you priced books lately? The ones with pages and covers, paper and ink? They’re costly, especially to the hopes crushed by thin, wobbly narratives crumpling under those fantastical titles. Use caution; turn on your BS detector. When you see the word ‘magic’ on the cover, step away, that’s the first clue it’s a whopper.
Big Magic, for instance, promised ‘creative living.’ I fell for it in a vulnerable moment of self-doubt, but guess what. It was neither magic nor big; it was 273 pages of oversized type and pompous language and twenty-five damn dollars. I couldn’t force myself to plow through it — I tried twice.
To my credit, I spotted The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up as a bald-faced lie immediately. I know there’s nothing enchanting about housecleaning. It’s endless. The more we organize and neaten, the more constant the work becomes. Tidying up is gateway behavior and leads to compulsive, unmanageable conduct like this:
Being a born skeptic, I caught on early and developed a natural immunity to self-help books, although I do get a kick out of the bombastic claims. I get a kick out of The Weekly World News, too — I’m partial to lowbrow.
Diet and nutrition titles insist deprivation is fun; business titles offer easy, sure-fire secrets to success and vast wealth; finance, technology, health, marriage, raising happy children, everything has a simple solution. They just don’t mention it isn’t included in their book. You learn that after you buy it.
The other day I ran across Self Made. The author was featured on the cover looking smooth and spackled, plump-lipped, vaguely startled. And I thought, hmm, Self Made, so DIY plastic surgery? No, Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way.
Right, good thing I fell off the turnip truck this morning.
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