Oh friends, there isn’t a more highly anticipated book in my mind than Anne Bogel’s Reading People. Anne is the real deal, I’m telling you, and I ATE UP HER BOOK. It’s so yummy (says the ENFP, Enneagram Seven). Whether you’re a personality geek, or still in recovery from diving too deeply into yourself in Psych 101, this book is for you. Continue on for the story behind the story, then leave a comment here or on Instagram to win a copy.
Tell us a bit about yourself, will you? I’m a book-lover, writer, and longtime personality geek. (INFP, Enneagram 9, HSP) I live in Louisville, Kentucky with my husband and four kids, within walking distance of a great library and good coffee. (Because: priorities.)
I’ve always been a book nerd, but I slowly turned it into my job-of-sorts, in part through my blog Modern Mrs Darcy. (It has been affectionately described back to me as “a lifestyle blog for nerds,” which I totally take as a compliment.) I started that site in 2011, which now feels like forever ago, even though at the time it felt like I was starting really late.
Let’s talk about your book: what, in a nutshell, is your book about anyway? This is the story of how my long journey digging into seven popular personality frameworks changed my life for the better, and how you can put those frameworks to work for yourself to make real, lasting change in your life, in your work, and in your relationships. My journey was rough, because finding genuinely useful information about all these personality frameworks isn’t easy. My hope in writing Reading People was to make your own path a lot smoother.
Do tell, what was the inspiration behind it? The book grew out of a conversation I had with a fellow personality geek. I was gushing about how useful learning about my own personality—and the personalities of my loved ones, friends, co-workers, you name it—had been to me over the years. Understanding personality had truly made everything better—sometimes a lot better. But it hadn’t been easy.
It had taken me literally years to actually find good information on the personality frameworks that had helped me most. The amount of information out there on personality is overwhelming, and a lot of it just isn’t very good, especially on the internet. It was hard for a newbie like myself to sort the genuinely useful from the junk, and even when I found the good stuff, the writing was often dry and academic. It was good information, but it wasn’t exactly a pleasure to read.
I told my friend that I wish there had been a book I could have read, back when I was younger, that walked you through the basics in a way that didn’t read like a psychology textbook. I didn’t want to have to read twenty books to understand a bunch of different personality frameworks. I wanted a single book, fun and engaging to read, with information I could actually understand and do something with right away. A book that had already done the hard work of sorting the gold from the garbage, so I didn’t have to waste my time searching for the good stuff. As we were talking, I knew I wasn’t the only one who could have used a book like that, or who could use a book like that right now. That is the book that became Reading People.
How do you hope readers will be changed by your words? I wanted to write a book that was an epiphany machine—one that had the reader nodding along in every chapter, saying “Oh, that’s why I do that!” or “I understand my spouse/roommate/friend/neighbor/church so much better now!” or “Now I see what the real issue is!”
I hope readers see themselves and the people they know in these pages, better understand the underlying issues affecting their life, work, and relationships, and walk away with new ideas they can put to work in their own lives immediately, before they even finish reading the whole book.
Lest we forget to ask, how have YOU been changed by writing the book? This book messed with me! Taking a hard look at yourself—and at your own personality—is fascinating, illuminating, and sometimes painful. I knew going in that sometimes when you have an “Aha!” moment, the clouds part and the angels sing … but other times that revelation makes you want to go curl up in the corner and cry.
While I was writing (and even now, to a lesser extent!) I just couldn’t stop seeing the world—and myself—through the lens of personality. I wouldn’t trade what I learned for anything, but sometimes getting to that self-knowledge is painful. The Enneagram chapter was the worst! I would be writing about the Enneagram, and then I’d walk away from my manuscript and wouldn’t be able to stop seeing how my unhealthy Type 9 behaviors were affecting pretty much everything I was doing that day. To make positive changes in your life, you first have to perceive what it is that needs changing—but whoa, dragging that stuff into the light is painful!
How and where can we find you on the internet? My internet home is my blog, Modern Mrs Darcy. I’m also quite fond of instagram and post there personally at @annebogel and on @whatshouldireadnext, my all-books-all-the-time account. My podcast, What Should I Read Next, is ready and waiting for all you book-lovers in iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Isn’t she just the best? Reading People is just as Anne hoped it would be: highly accessible, yet deeply relatable – and I just know you’ll love it. So, leave a comment here, or head over to Instagram for more ways to win a copy of her book. Contest ends Friday, September 22nd. Good luck!
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