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What is 'increasing the need for itself' when it comes to self-help books? I don't know what that means. Buying more and more? How do you isolate variables enough in experimental design to separate out 'addiction' from 'increasing interest' in this case?

And what is the source of pleasure in self-help? The narcissism? The feeling of being less lost? How do you measure 'feelings of being less lost' as a variable and isolate it as an effect of the books and not from other processes that go on when someone is at a contemplative/reflective point in life?

And besides, getting into a 'way of looking at the world' and then reading more and more about it in attempt to try and get the 'right view' or the 'best view' is a process that could be said to describe other acts more benignly associated with 'trying to figure things out'. Seems to me that 'dependency' is not an entailed/always present feature of the above process.

"As Christopher Buckley (1999) writes, "The more people read [self-help books], the more they think they need them... [it's] more like an addiction than an alliance.""

'Addiction' strikes me as the wrong way of characterizing the relation.