This book The Happiness Quotient is a perfect example of:
The power of a catchy title and a good cover design.
Bestsellers that are rarely read.
A bestseller since the time it was released, that has not been reviewed anywhere in any media (Ok, my search is limited to the Internet and leading publications, but they are a good indicator). They have only spoken about the events connected with the book.
Oops, I am already following the author’s style of using bullet points and long lists.
The book The Happiness Quotient in a dramatized fictional way talks about the seven radiant actions that you need to take for your physical wellness, emotional wellness, personal wellness, family bonding, nurturing the workplace, social bonding, and dharmic living. Nothing new there, most self-help book would tell you about these things. The long list of Dos and Don’ts are something that you would have read sometime somewhere. And if nowhere than probably in your forwarded e-mail messages. Now the problem I have with these must do things in all self-help books is that if people follow them to the T, they would need more than 48 hours per day only to do them and some more to do the other work.
Without even getting into the quality of the content, I want to point out something that I thought was unfair to the reader. There is a test to evaluate oneself in each of the seven chapters. Now the questions are straight and simple. E.g – Are you free of tobacco, drugs or Alcohol and if you say Yes, it is a positive indicator of your health. And if you have a certain number of Yes or No in the test it indicated how you are doing on a particular aspect. But the author has flipped a few questions so that you will never get a good score. And would end up feeling miserable anyway. E.g. Are you friendly with your neighbors? A yes would lower your emotional wellness score.
When I encountered the first couple of such questions, I thought it is an editing mistake, overlooked by both the author and the editor. But when I found this in every test, I inferred it was inbuilt into the design.
I wrote to both the author and the editor and never got a reply from the editor. The author did call me. And admitted that it was put there by design. Though obviously according to her it was not meant to be misleading. But she refused to give written reply to my questions.
A person who preaches happiness based on dharmic living – can that person engage in misleading her readers? Or based on the no of prints sold, I should not question this book? Come to think of it, I am the only one cribbing about it.