Friday, September 9, 2022

Can A Book Save A Life?

What do you tell someone who says he or she no longer wants to live?

Don’t say that you would find them a psychiatrist, for likely that person already is in therapy and is possibly on meds.

Don’t just toss them a pep talk. You wouldn’t use a pep talk to cure someone who needs open heart surgery, would you? A broken soul requires more.

You likely assume they have a problem that needs fixing, and if that can be corrected, all would be better. But then you discover the problem is not fixable. Or, worse, that there is no one specific problem to be fixed, that life itself simply is not providing a sufficiently motivating reason to live.

When you stand back and look at life, you realize that sometimes only one person or thing stands between you living and dying, which is why a loss of money, job, health, a dream, or a person can devastate us. 

Life is a matter of perspective. When we are younger, we really feel like dying when someone breaks up with us. But if we can live long enough to see that other people and things can make us happy, that we are resilient, that life is precious, and that so much awaits us, we will choose to live. We all need to live through enough things to see that life is worth living.

As National Suicide Awareness Day (September 10) is upon us, I am left thinking about people close to me who died by their own hand. I also am thinking about the tens of thousands of people who each year die because they actually thought death was their best option. And what of the addicts who die each year “accidentally,” where a drug overdose is not necessarily ruled a suicide but is a clear indicator of having given up?

The overwhelming majority of society will never commit suicide, but I wonder how many of us are just one event, person, or bad day away from crossing the line. Too many already have.

Is there a book that can save someone’s life — or at least get them to have hope and see things differently?

I found myself asking this question when someone in my world said life was no longer worth living.

I thought about all of the books ever written that inspire, motivate, and provide healing. Surely there must be a book that can help this dire situation.

Of course, you immediately get that person psychiatric help and meds, but that is not enough in the long-term. They need a mantra to live by. They need to have hope and to have a genuine reason to live. They need to desire living, and not just want to avoid dying.

But each of us needs to know what we want and to strive to go after it. Often, the pursuit is a reason to live.

I thought about the books that I have read over the years. It is a blur to reflect back on the tens of millions of words that one has consumed, but the ones that come to mind are As A Man Thinketh, which says we are what we think. The other is by a Holocaust survivor who found a will to live when all that he had was taken from him, Man’s Search For Meaning.

Whether you are on the ledge or living the good life, I highly recommend these two books.

Book-lovers enjoy many books and gain insights to life in reading all types of books, but when life is on the line, which books do you turn to? i want to know. One’s life may depend on your answer. 


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Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres.


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This blog, with over 4,000 posts over the past decade, was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:

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