Book Review: Reading People

Anne Bogel is such a wonderful light on the often dreary internet. Her podcast What Should I Read Next is delightful and endlessly fascinating. It is my go to for stressful train rides or while cooking at the end of a long day. Anne has a soft and sweet voice and is passionate and incredibly knowledgeable about books of all kinds. Because I am such a fan of her podcast I decided to pre-ordered her book, which included the audiobook as well!


I consider myself to be somewhat of a personality typology fanatic: I have taken many, studied psychology in college, ate up my psychology of personalities class and have even lead seminars about different personality types. That being said, there was little in this book, apart from the personal narratives, that was new information to me. While I think that is probably to be expected, considering my history on this topic, it is good to keep in mind that Anne really writes this book for someone who has not spent much time exploring personality frameworks.

Anne does a terrific job of giving brief but helpful overviews-making this an excellent primer on many of the major personality theories and test out there. This book is guided by Anne’s personal journey of discovering things about herself through personalities types. Each chapter focuses on a different typology or system and includes stories from her own life experiences. She speaks clearly  about each topic and it is obvious that she is well learned in this area.

Blue tabs for every personality type

Blue tabs for every personality type

Because this book touches on a little bit of everything it is impossible for it to go in depth about anything. If you are looking for a book to take you deep into your own psyche, this is not the one. However, I think there is a distinct advantage to having so many different personality types and descriptions all in one place.

After reading the book I went back through and marked each of my types. I flagged my Myers-Briggs, strengthsfinder top 5 strengths, love language, and enneagram number. I loved being able to quickly flip through and read each of “my” descriptions. I found it helpful to have them all in one place and incredibly interesting to read so many different facets of my personality all together.

...I suspect the problem was simply this: knowing yourself is hard. It’s difficult to clearly see yourself for who you really are. The process requires that you ask a difficult question of yourself and face the answer with as much honesty and grace as you can muster, because sometimes “What am I really like?” is a scary question.
— Reading People; Page 33

I recommend this book if you:

1. Are skeptical about personality tests or wonder how and why they are useful.

2. Have tried to learn about yourself through personality test but never felt like they were accurate or just weren't really "you"

3. Are curious about personality types/test but overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.

4. Would like to use this as a reference/one place to turn to for a quick introduction.

5. Are obsessed with personality tests, and need a book to loan out to your friends and family who are not as self-aware as you *wink*

Rating: 4/5

Mood: Curled up on the couch having tea with your sweetest friend who loves to listen to you as much as talking about themselves. 

For fans of: Gretchen Rubin, Pop-psych, Blog-style writing

Have you read Reading People? Did you enjoy it? Did you learn anything new about your personality? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts! 

Anne Bogel's Blog. Something every book lover should know about!

Anne Bogel's Blog. Something every book lover should know about!

Listen to Anne's podcast on iTunes

Listen to Anne's podcast on iTunes