New Year needs some resolve
THIS week, four times as many self-help books will be sold as in any other week of the year. Very few of them -- even those expounding fanciful theories and recommending eccentric diets -- can do very much harm, and most of them can do a lot of good.
The great majority are based, sometimes without the authors' knowledge, on precepts centuries old but none the worse for that. Long before the 21st century, exercise, healthy diet and general good behaviour were hardly secrets. They do not change over time, but wilful human nature needs constant reminders.
Among the purchasers this week will be people who want to fortify themselves in their New Year resolutions, but also some who have already fallen prey to tobacco, chocolate and other temptations and seek encouragement to get back on the right path.