27 March 2012


So recently I heard heard of a book called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop  Talking by Susan Cain. Naturally, my interest was piqued. I added the book to my Goodreads and decided that I wanted to read it someday. About a week later I was at a library (the Brookline Public Library in case you care) and on some shelves in their atrium they have what they call "speed reads". They are recent books that you can only check out for a week and can't renew (so more people can read them faster). One caught my eye: Quiet. So I picked it up, read the flap, and decided today was a good day to finally get a library card for this library. (I already have a Boston Public Library card, but Brookline is a separate city and is on a different library network. If I remember I'll explain more another day.) So I go up to the circ desk and spend a while trying to convince them to give me a library card--since I hadn't planned this ahead of time I didn't conveniently have a letter someone had mailed me with my address on it on my person. But eventually I came up with something that proved my address and I now am a proud owner of a Minuteman Network Library card.

I fell in love with Quiet before I even got off the bus home. I think this was the first time that some had come out and actually told me that it was OK to be an introvert. IT'S OK TO BE AN INTROVERT! Susan Cain does a good job of explaining about introversion and a lot of the research that surrounds intro/extroversion. She talks about how the changes in society (urbanization) in the early twentieth century directly impacted the change from a "culture of character" to a "culture of personality." It's truly amazing. She also talks about ways to deal with the fact that most introverts spend their days pretending to be extroverts and how to make it easier to pretend while still being true to yourself. This book changed my whole perspective on the introvert/extrovert dichotomy. It is definitely one that anyone who even kind of considers themselves an introvert should read, but I think that a lot of extroverts could benefit from it too--Cain spends some time talking about the communication disconnect between extroverts and introverts and how to bridge it. It's a book I could totally see myself buying and actually waiting in line to get signed by the author, should she ever come to Boston. Truly, it changed my life.

So you don't have to completely take my word for it here's a link to a talk she gave at TED

No comments: