Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything
Baker Books, 2017
Are you a personality type enthusiast? If so, do I have a book recommendation for you. Anne Bogel, creator of the popular Modern Mrs. Darcy blog and host of the podcast What Should I Read Next?, has authored a new book called Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything. In this book Anne gives an overview of some of the most popular personality typing systems and shares how the results and insights she has gleaned from those tests has shaped the way she views herself and influences her daily interactions.
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As someone who is more than mildly interested in personality and is also a fan of both Anne’s blog and podcast, this book was a must read for me. I preordered it last week so that I would be ready to go on release day (September 19th), and eagerly waited for the preorder bonus of access to the audio book to show up in my email.
Side note: I am very particular about the books that I consume by way of audio. So far I have found it best to stick to two simple rules – it must be nonfiction and it must be read by the author.
Since this book adheres to both those rules I listened to it and I’m glad I did. It clocks in at around 4.5 hours of listening time, which is not too long, and I was able to listen to the whole thing in less than 24 hours. I do plan to go back and revisit a few chapters in print form so that I can read and reread a few parts that I need more time to digest. The other benefit to pairing the audio with a print or ebook is that the actual book contains diagrams that are helpful and which, needless to say, can’t be included in the audio version.
There were several personality systems that I was mildly familiar with, a few that I’d never even heard of, and my favorite – the enneagram. The typing system that I am most interested to learn more about is Myers-Briggs. I’ve taken online tests to try to determine my type, but it’s confusing to me. I think my type is INFJ, but I’m not altogether certain that I’m not falling into the common personality trap that Anne will fill you in on in the first chapter.
Reading People is great as an introduction to and side by side comparison of the main personality frameworks that most of us are familiar with. It does not contain an exhaustive study of any of these systems, but there are enough brief descriptions of the different personality types to give you an idea of what you might be and where to go from there. Additionally, Anne thoughtfully includes reading suggestions for those who want to broaden their knowledge on whichever systems intrigue them. If you have ever been interested in learning more about yourself and how you are hard-wired to operate, I highly recommend giving this book a read.