I was self-conscious of being seen reading self-help books

I can't remember for sure when it first began, or when did I start to enjoy reading non-fiction books more than other genres. I've had my fair share of light-hearted reads from Sophie Kinsella and some others than I don't recall the authors.

Chicken Soup series were probably one of the first few books that had me grew an interest in self-improvement books. In fact, I remembered distinctively the scene from bookstores - that I was drawn to the shelf of books that were categorised 'self-improvement'. I was in my teens then. 

As much as I was drawn to it, I was also extremely conscious of being seen reading 'such' books. I seemed to have a connotation that associates with self-improvement books (back then). I had the impression that people who read such books needed some kind of help in their lives. Or so I did.

Some respite, some reassurance from someone to tell them, it's okay, we've been through it, you can do it too. 

I could relate well with the stories from the series even though some were not in our local context. But I felt a connection as I read them, as though we shared similar thoughts. 

Growing up and adulting was challenging and left me with not much time for myself and I stopped reading for awhile.

After several episodes in my life where I find myself losing myself; intuitively, I knew what I needed to pull myself out of the rut. I started reading again - with more intent, sourcing for how-to books such as, how I can improve on different aspects of my life, how to feel happy, how to be more productive, how to manage emotions, how to improve relationships, how to be a better parent, etc

Of all the self-help books I've read, some aren't of much help, some are really inspiring but the motivation that I had didn't last more than a couple of weeks. There are a few books that I really enjoyed, read and re-read and recommended to people I know whom I felt could benefit from the book as well. Some of the things I've learnt from the books are still in practice and it has indeed change my life in more ways than one.

Now, I no longer feel this stigma of reading self-help books.

I really enjoy reading them, gaining insights and perspectives from different authors, or stories that were shared, practical tips that could simplify complicated issues in our lives, or habits that could allow us to make more time for ourselves and what truly matters.

Are there any of such self-help books you've read? Share your reads below with us :)