Monday, April 1, 2013

keep it down

my plan was to finish this book and then post about it, but every page i read i get more impatient to talk about it because I really like it. i keep trying to type up a short description of the book, but i can't seem to get it right, so here's the description from the jacket:

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak-- that we owe many of the great contributions to society. 

In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts–from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.

now i'm sure that doesn't sound at all exciting, and possibly even self-helpish, but even before i knew this book existed i had been struggling with literally some of the exact things she discusses in this book.  i don't want to get all deep about my social & internal bullshit, but when i saw this book on the shelf it was literally glowing with sun rays beaming and angels flying. it's not a self help book, but an insanely interesting look at the evolution of social "normalities" and how sometimes our culture misses the quality of the person because they've come to value outspokeness & charisma & external glitter, even if there is little content there. it's amazing how workspaces, classrooms, literally everywhere, we've ripped down all our walls to aggressively promote team building and groupthink, while completely demolishing any opportunity for independent work and self-reflection.

okay now i feel like i'm getting boring and preachy, but all i'm trying to say is that i highly recommend this book. the solitude that introverts need so they can recharge, the preference for quiet and independent work, i understand it.  i'm not claiming to be an introvert, so everyone calm down, but just go read the book. this goes way past your wiki definition of introvert.


  1. I love this book. I keep recommending it to everyone, even those who think they're extroverts. :))