News and trends worth watching

items of interest

The American Booksellers Association reports that the market for self-help books has been growing every year since 1991. In 1998, sales reached $581 million. While self-help books are not a new phenomenon by any means, more and more readers are looking for books that will tell them more about spirituality and how to be spiritual.

Some observers of American society indicate that the demand for these books reveals an emptiness in the hearts of these readers and a longing for it to be filled. Not everyone agrees that books alone will be able to meet these deep needs, however. Many feel that "self" help can take an individual only so far.

Other commentators are encouraged by the fact that so many people are searching for spiritual answers. Some see benefits in the books even if only one or two of the purchaser's needs are met. "For some readers, taking away one useful concept from a book easily justifies the time and expense involved," reports Marjorie Coeyman for The Christian Science Monitor.

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Your role in improving government
October 23, 2000

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