And finally ... Simple facts staring me in the face
Enough books land on my doormat to test even an addicted reader.
This year I'm one of the judges of the prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction, which means scores of wonderful novels by women are piling up all over my house, waiting to be read and appreciated.
No wonder I often sigh to receive yet another unsolicited book dealing with subjects covered on these pages. It feels like yet another demand - the straw on the camel's back.
So, here's a paperback called 54 Simple Truths With Brutal Advice, subtitled How To Face The Challenges Of Life.
It looks self-published, by one Mike Wash, who's written me an upbeat letter, saying he hopes I'll read his book. "Do I have time for this?" I sigh.
Then I turn to the Orange Prize contenders, many of them full (as the best novels can be) of profound as well as simple truths, and with their own degree of emotional brutality about life's challenges.
Mr Walsh's book lies unopened on my mountain - until the day when I feel even more weighed down than usual, stressed and suffering with a cold that makes my head feel it will explode.
Randomly, I open 54 Simple Truths at maxim 13. This jumps out: "You forget you're supposed to be working to live, not living to work".
Now that's not rocket science, but it was surrounded by much wisdom I needed to hear. Sneezing, I flipped to 15.
The title was "You will become ill" and it spelled out my main problem, which is ignoring warning signs and driving myself on until something gives. An eye, for example.
"Use [illness] as an opportunity to review your lifestyle and ask yourself what's really important and what do you have to change in order to get it" writes Mike Walsh.
There's a Latin tag, "Quis custodiet custodies?" which translates, "Who guards the guards?" You might substitute, who nurses the nurse? Or - who gives advice to the advice columnist? This one was very grateful for the common sense which says: "Stop!"
• For information about 54 Simple Truths, see www.54-self-help-books.com