Scribd Data Report: Self-improvement and personal growth

Scribd Data Report: Self-improvement and personal growth

In Reading Trends, Scribd News by Sarah Sung

Scribd Data Report: Self-improvement and personal growth

In advance of resolution-making season, we ventured to look into the ever-popular self-improvement category to see which books performed the best. We compiled the data around the most-read books, the most popular subcategories within self-improvement, and, finally, which states leaned into the genre — and which didn’t. Whether you resolve to read any or all the books on this most-read list now or in the new year is up to you.

10 most-read self-improvement books on Scribd

Flies in the face of so much conventional self-help wisdom that it’s hard not to label the book as anti-self-help. Yet, that label undermines how pragmatic the book actually is. In the overcrowded and over-clichéd self-help genre, this is a book well worth whatever f*cks you can muster.

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2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The subtitle of the book is “A Fable About Following Your Dream.” If you’re only going to read one book, it should be this one. It’s a quick read lauded by almost everyone who’s read it, from our very own CEO Trip Adler to basketball superstar LeBron James. There’s a reason it’s been one of the most popular books on Scribd year after year after year.

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3. Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop

Personal development expert Gary John Bishop wants you to know this: “You’re a fu*king miracle of being.” If you’re still unconvinced, Bishop will change your mind with his simple and direct assertions. A motivational wake-up call for anyone who feels stuck.

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If you’re jealous that your friends are more successful than you, that’s part of what’s holding you back from achieving your best. Find out all the other thoughts you’re not supposed to indulge in and how to build up your mental fortitude to overcome these roadblocks.

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5. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

Katie Holmes and Josh Lucas star in “The Secret: Dare to Dream,” the new movie based on this blockbuster self-help book by Rhonda Byrne. Learn how to harness the power of positive thinking in this slim read, then watch it light up the screen.

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Several decades in print & millions of copies sold, this timeless book is packed with ever-relevant advice on building successful relationships, be they business or personal.

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7. The 5AM Club by Robin Sharma

If you’re not a morning person, you might become one after reading this bestselling book. Sharma draws on his experience as a performance expert to craft a morning routine that has helped his clients become happier, healthier, and more productive. Join the club and see why leaders are waking up early to follow Sharma’s advice.

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Covey’s classic guide has helped anyone who wanted to be better at their job or find the time to work on a creative side project achieve their goals. It’s remained a bestseller for decades because of its proven methods. Embrace these habits now, and reap the benefits of a more successful you.

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9. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini, PhD

In this hyperconnected age, it’s more important than ever to understand the principles of influence at work all around us. Whether you’re building a personal brand or selling a product, become an influencer in your space using the principles laid out in Cialdini’s classic.

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10. Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty

Jay Shetty, who trained as a monk and now hosts the popular podcast “On Purpose,” shares actionable steps to de-stress and to begin living with less anxiety and more meaning. Shetty’s practical guide to embracing mindfulness couldn’t come at a more needed time as he helps readers unleash their inner purpose and cope with these uncertain times.

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States that love self-help books (and the ones that don’t)


Top 10

  1. New Jersey
  2. New York
  3. California
  4. Hawaii
  5. Nevada
  6. DC
  7. Florida
  8. Maryland
  9. Arizona
  10. Colorado

Bottom 10

  1. Wyoming
  2. West Virginia
  3. Mississippi
  4. Arkansas
  5. Vermont
  6. North Dakota
  7. South Dakota
  8. Iowa
  9. Maine
  10. Alabama
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About the Author: Sarah Sung

Sarah is the Editorial Director at Scribd who obsesses over content strategy and brand building, and has written lifestyle content for AFAR, San Francisco Chronicle, and Under Armour. In her spare time she teaches indoor cycling and consumes podcasts, audiobooks, and ebooks at all times of the day and night. Traveling and dining out are always high on her to-do list

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