Reading People: A Book Review

I love reading and I love personality tests. Combine these two things with the Anne Bogel’s new book, Reading People, and you have a trifecta of my favorite things!

Back in June, I was chosen to be part of the Reading People launch team. Reading People is a new (soon-to-be-out on September 19 book) by Anne Bogel, the blogger behind Modern Mrs. Darcy and podcaster behind What Should I Read Next. To say I was excited to get a first look at her new book would be a complete understatement!

Reading People by Anne Bogel - Book Review

What Is Reading People?

Reading People isn’t a book about reading (though I would totally read that book too). Instead, it’s a book about reading (or learning how to read) yourself and the people in your life through the lens of personality. It’s about knowing yourself and others better. It’s about knowing yourself and others more deeply.

I’ve always been drawn to learning more about personality; whether it’s the Myers-Briggs (I’m an IFSJ!) or StrengthsFinder (I know my top 5 strengths!) or figuring out if I’m a highly sensitive person (I think I am!), I am fascinated by learning more about myself and how I can use my personality traits to best interact with others. I also thinking knowing more about yourself (for example, I’m an introvert) can help you feel less alone in the world.

What I loved about Reading People (and what made it unique from the typical personality typing run-downs), is that Anne infuses the facts and research with stories and examples. I loved that after telling me the “need to know” information, she shared a story about herself or a friend or family member (or favorite book character – Atticus Finch from to Kill a Mockingbird is an INFJ!) to make the facts accessible to a regular person who isn’t a pro in personality typing. I felt like I was learning about personality from a friend, rather than reading a technical rundown on a website.

Reading People by Anne Bogel - Book Review

Why Does Personality Matter?

I value learning about personality because it gives me the opportunity to learn more about myself and others. I truly believe that I work at my best when I know what I need to work my best. I also believe I work better with others when I know what they need from me. For example:

  • Introvert/Extrovert: I am an outgoing introvert. I enjoy being around people and being social, but I need a quiet space to recharge after spending time with people.
  • Highly Sensitive Person: After reading the chapter on Highly Sensitive People, I began to ponder whether I fit into this category. I’m not sure and need to research more (I already bought The Highly Sensitive Person to learn more), but Anne gave great examples, such as not being able to concentrate when there is a distracting noise in the background or how tags in shirts really impact my ability to concentrate, to consider.
  • StrengthsFinder: I just completed the StrengthsFinder before reading this book (great timing!) and loved seeing the different themes that strengths fall under (I’m a mix between Relationship-Building and Strategic Thinking).

Reading People by Anne Bogel - Book Review
Here’s the good news – Reading People is coming out soon and you can pre-order it! Why pre-order? Well, in addition to getting the book, you also receive the Reading People audiobook read by Anne, plus access to her Reading Personality class!

If you do pre-order/order the book, follow my advice:

  • Don’t feel like you have to read the book from start to finish. I found myself jumping around a bit, and that is fine. Make it work for you!
  • Have a notebook, highlighter, and pen (or be ready to highlight A LOT in your Kindle). I took a ton of notes while reading Reading People and already plan to read it for a second time. This time, I want to be more deliberate about keeping tracks of the notes that I take.
  • Be open to learn more about yourself! Understanding yourself can be difficult, but it’s also incredibly helpful to be your best you (cheesy, but true!). Have an open mind and use Reading People as a way to know yourself better.

For more info, be sure to check out the Reading People website.

I was sent a free copy of Reading People in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.