Notes from West London · Smart Thinking

“Smart Thinking” and “Self Help” at the bookshop

A few months ago I noticed that my local bookshop has a whole section called “Smart Thinking”. This is where you’ll find Malcolm Gladwell’s books, and “Nudge”, “Freakonomics” and Daniel Levitin’s “The Organized Mind”. I don’t know when this section first appeared but assumed at first that it was intended for people who wouldn’t be seen anywhere near the “Self Help” section of a bookshop, and that maybe it had replaced “Self Help” altogether as a categorization. But no, “Self Help” is still there with most of a shelf devoted to the works of Steven R Coney, from his “7 Habits” onwards. Was Covey also in the “Smart Thinking” section? I couldn’t find him.

Today I went back to the bookshop and found that “Smart Thinking” has moved, and expanded. It’s in between “Philosophy” and “Business” now and takes up more space than “Self Help” and the two sections on either side of it, namely: “Religion”, “Spirituality”, “Health” and “Diet & Fitness”.




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