I Briefly Skimmed the Contents of 24 Self-Help Books in 24 Hours Through the ‘Look Inside’ Feature on Amazon and Here’s What Happened

Reading a book ipad

I figured that the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon was a surefire way to basically sort all my shit out during one calendar day, so that I could use the other 364 to live a fuller and more meaningful existence.

This decision was made in lieu of leaving my parents’ basement and braving actual sunlight and the gaze of human retinas at the public library, where I may have been met with the challenge of prying Who Moved My Cheese? out of the grip of a decaying skeleton in the fetal position, recognizable only by the tears that stained his shirt sleeves. I cracked open a carton of quinoa and took a few thirst-quenching swigs before introducing my corneas to the glare of the laptop screen – they were going to be spending a lot of time together. The next 24 hours to be precise.

The preface of How to Win Friends & Influence People offered nine suggestions on how to get the most out of the book. I imagined one of the tips wasn’t to briefly glance over the contents, paraphrasing its entirety. But I had no way to know for certain on account of Amazon doesn’t let you preview that many pages. So I had no choice but to give myself the benefit of the doubt and forge on.

“FAITH IS A STATE OF MIND WHICH MAY BE INDUCED BY AUTOSUGGESTION,” according to Think and Grow Rich. It was in all caps, so I figured it was important. Everything was in all caps, so it must all be crucial. There was also talk of “THE ENCHANTED KETTLE,” which intrigued me. And there was a bit about “WHY MEN SELDOM SUCCEED BEFORE FORTY,” which didn’t mention women, which means we’re probably so okay we don’t even need a chapter to tell us because it’s basically common sense.

When it came to The Power of Now, the table of contents wasn’t as effective as just Googling Eckhart Tolle and gazing into his eyes.

Habit one of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was to “Be Proactive.” Thankfully I’m a survivor of pubescent acne and had quite a few bottles of the face wash still lying around, so I dutifully scrubbed my face a few times. It also mentioned “Inside-Out” twice in the table of contents alone, so I saved myself 360 pages of effort and just Netflixed the cartoon.

The Secret’s table of contents was, for lack of a better word, quite secretive indeed. It involved the word ‘secret’ nine times, without once telling me what the secret was. My left eye still twitches with anticipation.

Other highlights include “DIY Tranquilizers That Bring Peace of Mind” from Psycho-Cybernetics, a title which even Google didn’t seem to know what it meant. And chapters called “Doing Non-Doing” and “Not Practicing Is Practicing” by the aptly titled Wherever You Go, There You Are.

In conclusion, I successfully managed to thoroughly skew the recommendations on my parents’ Amazon account. And nirvana is basically just staring into Eckhart Tolle’s baby blues.



Ella Ames

Author: Ella Ames

Ella Ames is a twenty-something California native. She never leaves the house without a healthy coating of cat hair and has monthly pregnancy scares like clockwork. She is, what some might call, a real catch. Read her blog at www.notenoughmiddlefingers.com.

Share This Post On