In our research, we found that 71 (53%) of our participants read their self-help book directly due to a transition that happened in their life. Of those who read as a direct result of a transition, there were four different types of transitions that we identified: Career, relationships, health or well-being, and a combination of the above types. The following chart shows the breakdown of these transitions and some examples of each type.
|Type of Transition||Frequency (Percentage)||Illustrations of the types of transitions|
|Career||12 (17%)||"When I was reading this book I just started a new career and was hoping that this book would give me advice and provide some useful tools I could bring to the workplace."||"I was working for a year, then unfortunately myself and a few colleagues were laid off."||"I had just started a new job, after many years at same company, and was feeling a bit anxious about how to make a good impression."|
|Relationship||16 (23%)||"I had just left my husband of five years and I was seeking a way to come to peace with how that relationship ended and what I could do to keep myself from making the same mistakes."||"I read the book during a time when a relationship with a friend ended on an ugly note."||"I had, a year ago, a traumatic event, where I had a bad breakup."|
|Health or Well-being||30 (42%)||"I had a major health scare these past few months."||""I am having health issues and was looking for some treatment for my symptoms in addition to the treatment my GP was giving me."||"I have been struggling with peri-menopause."|
|Combination||13 (18%)||"I am recently married and we have moved to a new community because my husband received an exciting job opportunity. I have been working in a busy academic career for the past 3 years, but following the move, I have quit my full time position and now work part time from a distance."||"I decided to read it because I was feeling a lot of stress and worry about planning my wedding and about having to move unexpectedly."||"I wanted to change my eating habits, I wanted to find the courage to break out of my job rut, and I was getting married again for the second time and just looking at different ways to not make the same mistakes."|
In contrast, 63 participants (47%) read for other reasons. The table below highlights some of the key other reasons for why people in our study read their self-help books:
|Why read||Frequency (Percentage)||Illustrations of other reasons for reading|
|Recommendation by family/friend/other||27 (43%)|| "When my sister explained the plot to me and how much she enjoyed it, I wanted to read it."
||"It was recommended by a good friend who is also on a personal growth journey."|
|Requested/recommended to read for work||4 (6%)|| "While I was working for a company with low morale we were requested to read it."
||"I didn't really expect anything, just that it was the recommended reading material for my work."|
|Came across by chance/browsing||14 (22%)|| "On the internet I was researching for books and based on the reviews I decided to go for this one."
||"I saw it at the bookstore when looking for books on relaxation/meditation."|
|Fame of author/book||7 (11%)|| "Just knew about it as it is very well-known."
||"The reason why I decided to read it was because it has a catchy sounding title, also I have heard people mention the title before."|
|Heard about it in a workshop/seminar||4 (6%)|| "A vision board workshop at a local holistic clinic. The facilitator of the workshop was about to run a course on the artists way."
||"I heard about this book at a Gottman workshop for couples."|
|Read/heard previous work by the author||7 (11%)|| "I watch Joel Osteen's sermons live online every week and I have read his other books as well. I really enjoy both his sermons and his books, so when I heard a new one was coming out, I set a reminder to go and buy it on its release date."
||"I have read lots of John Gray's books. I do believe in the authority of the author in this topic."|