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Mentors and friends

Are you accused of being spineless, of coming a cropper at work, often bamboozled for words after the mandatory `hello' or simply feeling low? The panacea is just a book away!

From parenting to mending broken relationships, to becoming a master salesman and losing flab, self-help books seem to offer a remedy to every problem in your life. The self-help book boom, which held America spellbound in the 1970s, is making waves here with nearly 5,000 titles being churned out every year.

"Self-help books are the number one sellers now," says a salesman from a bookstore. "Self-help books show a new perspective in which a situation can be seen. It is impractical to put into use whatever these books say, but they can give you some valuable inputs," says Ramesh, who works in the field of advertising. He says books such as Philip Khan-Panni's `Blank Page to First Draft in 15 Minutes' help him immensely if he has to prepare for presentations at short-notice.

"These books are full of positive energy. They give you immense confidence and help know yourself better," says Gayathri, a lecturer.

But psychiatrists feel these books don't do any good, except maybe tell you that you cannot do anything on your own. ANIMA BALAKRISHNAN

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