I must have been about 12 or 13 when I read my first self-help book: What's Your PQ*? (*Personality Quotient).
I don't remember exactly what it advised, but my take-away was to read Time magazine before going on a date so I'd have something to talk about (it would be years before I'd need that one) and to liven up my wardrobe with colorful neck scarves.
I remember walking home from the library and running into Kay Stokes, who was a year or two older and lived just down the block. "What books did you check out?" she asked. I showed her. "That again? This is the third time you've read it," she said. I flushed with embarrassment. "Well, uh, I never got around to reading it before," I lied.
My mother told me I'd have a better personality if I stopped thinking about myself and smiled more. Easy for her to say. Although I didn't know about introverts and extroverts at the time (that would require a different self-help book), I was the former and she was the latter. I mean, you can be an introvert and still smile and be interested in others, but you can't do it all the time.
Anyway, I'm pretty sure that whatever else that book said, I didn't do much to incorporate its advice into my life. Which would be a pattern. Just like the organization for which I work, which hires lots of consultants and then ignores their advice, I have a history of collecting self-help books and, um, ignoring their advice.
Today, I Googled the title of the book to see whether anyone has mentioned it. Turns out there are people running businesses that will conduct workshops and evaluations to help you maximize your Personality Quotient in the name of making you more employable, or to help corporations make you more productive. I don't think neck scarves are required.