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Andy Needs Help

Andy Rooney Peruses Self-Help Books

This segment was originally broadcast on Oct. 21, 2007.

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney.

People send me a lot of books. Most of them come from the authors or publishers. They send then to me hoping I'll mention the books on television. The fact that I never have suggested you buy a book doesn't seem to deter them.

I get some good books, but I get a lot of junk, too.

What I get most of is self-help or "How To" books. People don't seem to think I know how to do anything.

"How To Speak, How To Listen," by Mortimer Adler.

"How To Stop Complaining." Well, if I stopped complaining I'd be out of business. That's what I do for a living. I don't want "A Complaint Free World."

Naomi Judd has written what she calls "A Guide To Aging Gratefully." Naomi is 61, so I guess one of the ways to age well if you write a book is to use an old picture of yourself on the cover.

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale says "The Joys Of Aging" is "the best book on the subject." I wonder what Dr. Peale's opinion is of some of the worst books on that subject.

"1001 Tips For Buying And Selling A Home." That seems easy enough. You don't need 1001 tips on how to do it though. To sell a house, just bring the price down.

There's a "How To" book with Larry King's name on it. "How To Talk To Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere." It says "With Bill Gilbert" so I imagine Bill had more to do with actually writing it than Larry did, even though Bill's picture isn't on the cover.

"Make Over Your Metabolism," by Robert Reames. I don't know. I'm not going to start fooling around with my metabolism, Mr. Reames. It seems to be working just fine the way it is.

"Women And Money By Suze Orman." Suze's good looking -- I doubt that good-looking women are any better with money than homely women are though.

Some of these titles are unnecessarily clever. Paul Pearsall has written something called "The Last Self- Help Book You'll Ever Need."

Another author called his book "God's Diet." Who would tell God he's overweight?

Here's the book I really ought to read though: "How To Be Funny." I have a theory about funny. It's almost always a mistake to set out deliberately to be funny. Funny should just come along naturally. I probably ought to read this. Maybe it will give me a better idea for one of these pieces on 60 Minutes. That's where my self-help needs help.
Written By Andy Rooney