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Vista Book Group – Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

The Vista Book Group met in March to discuss Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. There were five self-described introverts and three ambiverts in attendance. Many of us have heard the terms introvert and extrovert, but few of us have probably heard the term ambivert. According to Ms. Cain and the psychologists whose studies she references in her book, there really is no such thing as pure introvert or extrovert. However, most of us usually tend to lean prominently toward one end of the introvert-extrovert spectrum. If a person falls pretty much in the center of the spectrum, they are known as an ambivert.

As Susan Cain states in Quiet, there are “almost as many definitions of introvert and extrovert as there are personality psychologists, who spend a great deal of time arguing over which meaning is more accurate.” Cain discusses the qualities that help define the introvert-extrovert spectrum and most readers will probably be surprised to learn that being an introvert does not necessarily mean a person is shy.

For example introverts prefer to spend more time in their heads, while extroverts prefer to spend more time among people and doing activities. Introverts recharge their batteries by being alone and extroverts need to recharge through social interaction. Introverts and extroverts also work differently. Introverts prefer to work slowly, deliberately, focusing on one task at a time. Extroverts tend to tackle assignments quickly, enjoy multitasking and risk taking.

Quiet is well-researched and full of wonderfully interesting explanations on why being an introvert can be a positive rather than the negative that many people think it might be. Quiet made for a lively discussion, but it would no doubt have been even livelier if we had had a few extroverts in attendance. One of the things we discussed was how many of us introverts have trained ourselves to enjoy public speaking, to be comfortable working with the public, or to learn how to be outgoing and effervescent at social gatherings when we would really prefer to be home snuggled up with a good book. Everyone in the group liked and enjoyed the book and many of us have recommended it to our friends and family who fall in the introvert camp. However, we acknowledged that what we should do is suggest this book to our extroverted friends, family and coworkers.

Some readalikes that the group came up with were:

  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage To Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown.
  • The Gifts of Imperfection [Electronic Resource]: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown.
  • I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture Of Shame by Brené Brown.
  • Dr. Brown is a social researcher who displays a similar writing style.

    Other readalikes in the Richland Library collection include:

  • Self-Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead by Nancy Ancowitz
  • The Highly Sensitive Person In Love: How Your Relationships Can Thrive When The World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron.
  • The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World by Sophia Dembling
  • The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin
  • On Wednesday, April 24, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm we will be discussing Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn in Film and Sound, located on the first level of the Main Library. We look forward to having you there. You can obtain a book group copy by calling 929-3400 or by enquiring at the General Reference/Research Desk on the second level of the Main Library.


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    Susan Cain: The power of introverts
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    YouTube Says: http://www.ted.com In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in...
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