Substacker Ed Zitron writes on the hustle-culture self-help volumes that make up most of this list of the most re-read books, and why they'll never get those re-readers to the point where they can stop re-reading: "These books are based on an industrial level of delusion, praying on people's desperation and misery, offering them the chance to change their lives just by reading one more thing."
This remark, in particular, I found interesting:
The entire business-focused self-help industry is built on the fallacy that successful people read a lot of books. I've met some of the most colossally stupid idiots who claim to have read 50 business books a year, and conversely know many very smart people that don't read any non-fiction books of any kind.
The same is true of fiction writers. When I see a young writer holding a copy of How To Write Novels The Jerry Ingersoll Way, I know they'll never write a novel the Jerry Ingersoll way.
See also: buying software that helps you write. I know y'all love Scrivener, I'm not knocking Scrivener, but there was a huge industry of story-writing garbageware in the 1990s and 2000s that was so obviously focused on the dreamworld of wannabe authors that … a retrospective might be in order.
The Delusional Scam of the Self-Help Book Industry [ez.substack.com]