I was really excited to get my hands on this book. I tried to place a hold on it at the library and I discovered that I was 45th in line. What a wait! Lucky for me, I have a friend and mentor who allowed me to borrow her copy. Thanks, Vicki!
Wow, let me tell you after all the hype surrounding this book, I found it a lot harder to read than I expected. It’s really good, don’t get me wrong. It’s just so full of research and data that at times it can feel a bit like reading a textbook. Nothing wrong with that! It’s just not a book you fly through. Each page has some serious weight behind it.
I’ve long known that I am an introvert and I do love reading books that validate my wiring. Especially in church culture, there is a strong emphasis of extrovertism being the “ideal” leader. It’s been freeing, the more I read and the more I get comfortable in my own skin, to know God made me this way and he will use me this way. I don’t have to be something I’m not. Yes, at church I can tend to put on an extroverted mindset, especially in a classroom environment. However, if you were to watch me in the office throughout the week, you would see my introverted tendencies. Also my schedule screams that I’m an introvert. I have lots of down time in my life and I need it in order to be with people. When I am constantly on the go and always up front, I get really burnt out, really fast.
I think my favorite paragraph in the book was in the conclusion. Let me share some of Cain’s closing words with you:
“Love is essential; gregariousness is optional. Cherish your nearest and dearest. Work with colleagues you like and respect. Scan new acquaintances for those who might fall into the former categories or whose company you might enjoy for its own sake. And don’t worry about socializing with everyone else. Relationship make everyone happier, introverts included, but think quality over quantity.”
I love that paragraph because most people assume that introverts don’t like people or avoid people. This is not true. I love people very much. The relationships I have in my life are extremely important to me. My friendships run deep. I may only have a handful of close friends on this planet, but that doesn’t matter to me because I agree that quality matters over quantity. Overall this books a good read and very insightful. I understand why introverts have really raised the banner over this book and made it so well known.
As a side note, my copy of Shauna Niequist’s newest book, Bread & Wine, arrived today just as I was finishing Quiet. Shauna’s writing has moved me so much in the last year. She has become an instant favorite for me. I am so excited that this book arrived early! Originally I thought it would arrive right before I left on a week of ministry conferences. I would rather be alone with a good book than social in a crowd any day so I was worried about the tension of wanting to be with my book when I should really be with people. Now I can totally devour this book before leaving and not worry a bit about looking anti-social! Hurray! Happy dance!