If you read the Bible, Quran, or Torah then you read self-help.
If you use cookbooks then you read self-help.
If you read any book that espouses some advice then you read self-help.
Most of critics of self-help are actually active readers of it.
What they reject in self-help, I believe, is the notion that someone else has the answers to your success and happiness. Critics say that nobody can teach you how to be happy.
I use self-help books consultatively rather than authoritatively. I explore a book’s offering of new ideas, new perspectives, and new ways to approach the world. I take some ideas and trash others. If millions of people buy the book and find it useful I have the humility to set aside my pride and read.
Self-help books are valuable - as long as you as you see them as suggestions for consideration rather than a truth to follow.