The publication of “self-help books” in Israel

Shifra Baruchson Arbib, Tal Kvity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The present study examines the phenomenon of self-help books in the state of Israel. The study is based on an analysis of 3,318 books that were published in Israel in the course of thirty years (1967–1997). It emerges that in Israel, as in the Western world in general, there has been an increase in the number of these books, which aim at helping people cope better with life. A categorization of the books shows that half of them deal with psychology (50%), the rest with health (30%) and spirituality (20%). In the field of psychology, most of the books focus on basic social and personal problems; in the field of health, most of them deal with alternative medicine; and in the field of spirituality, most of the books center on mysticism and particularly on futurology. It was found that the main increase in the publication of self-help books in Israel occurred in the years 1988–1997, during which 62% of all the books located in the course of the study were published. If the public libraries will understand the importance of these books and build attractive “self-help sections,” they can strengthen their position as a social institution in the new “information society.”

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-48
Number of pages16
JournalPublic Library Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 9 Jul 2004


  • Public libraries
  • Reading–Israel
  • Self-help books
  • Self-help section


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