Every morning the postman delivers a sack of new books to the LRB office. The bulk of them turn out to be either books about religion or self-help books, which may say something about the apocalyptic mood of the publishing industry. The categories often overlap, as in The Truth Within by Gavin Flood, ‘a history of inwardness in Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism’: religion can put you in touch with ‘a deeper, more fundamental, more authentic self’. The rest of this week's religious haul includes the Oxford Handbook of Quaker Studies and a collection of essays on Habermas and religion. There’s less variation in the self-help books, as the genre creeps forwards fad by fad. Pace Flood, the new hot topic is outwardness: help yourself by understanding others.
'How To Quit Facebook' is a page in the online self-help manual WikiHow, edited and updated by its users. If you have a Facebook problem – i.e. you don’t know when to stop Facebooking – WikiHow recommends you think of other things you could be doing with the time you spend on Facebook, such as 'pick up a part time job and invest that money in stocks', 'teach a child how to throw a football', 'calculate the center of gravity' (it doesn't say of what) or even 'read a book'. It also suggests you 'call your friends on the phone or do something fun with them in person'. Be warned, however: WikiHow can, apparently, be as addictive as Facebook. There’s a whole page on ‘How to control a WikiHow Addiction’.