Dear Reader,

Subject:  Shallow Self Help

In a crisis, we need real answers, accurate answers, and readily available answers. Other times in a crisis, we need a break, a shallow, beautiful, cozy break. The library is a place you can get both options, but instead of me sitting at ye olde Reference Desk awaiting your next query, I’m going to cut to the chase and give you a post about introspection, self-help, and validation through books that are as deep as you let them be.

Whether we’re essential workers who can’t stay home or in the group who are stuck at home, we all hear the same things:

“How to be more productive at home!”
“10 Reasons you should wake up at 5am!”
“Are you being productive enough: How to quantify your work to create a measurable point of comparison!”

Do you know what I actually hear?

“How to ignore your real feelings and make your employer more money!”
“10 Reasons to ignore your body’s need for food and rest!”
“Your best is not enough!”

And, as a librarian, a veritable expert on life you might say, let me tell you that is a large pile of bullshirt (anyone else watching The Good Place?). First off, those articles are all clickbait, content made to generate clicks and money for whatever website/company is hosting them. Secondly, they are getting those clicks because, like all clickbait, they are preying on our insecurities…during a time of epic uncertainty, a pandemic…which goes so far past our beloved morally grey (Editor, am I allowed to call that evil? Because I am! It’s evil!).

So to them I say most vehemently, “No, thank you!” Though I would rather add in some colorful language, which is now good for us, and the evidence of such starts our list off right (also this list is almost entirely overdrive because I am nearly out of hoopla borrows):

Swearing is Good for You by Emma Byrne
Almost Everything by Anne Lamott
Very Good Lives by J. K. Rowling
Boundaries by Henry Cloud & John Townsend
Melody Beattie 3 Title Bundle by Melody Beattie
Getting Back to Happy by Marc Chernoff & Angel Chernoff
The Good Life Lab by Wendy Jehanara Tremayne & Dale Dougherty
Monkey Mind by Daniel Smith
The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu
Grit by Angela Duckworth
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
More Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth
In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It by Lauren Graham
Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
The Joy of Missing Out by Tonya Dalton
Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi
What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey
You Are a Badass Every Day and  You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

I hope you can use some of these titles to give yourself and your brain a break. Yes, you are working hard enough. Yes, you need to be less hard on yourself. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for the ones you love. We are much easier to handle when we’ve had a snack and a nice nap, yes? Plus, next month is Pride Month, so rest up. We’re going to party.

 

Sincerely,

 

Editors Note:  Yes, you can say EVIL! Clickbaits are so easy to get sucked into.  Here are a couple prime examples of ones that many of us choose to look into further because…well, aliens and kitties?  How can you scroll past those? (I did not make them clickable, sorry clickbait companies.)