In her article The Top 10 Ways to Market to Introverts, self-described “IntrovertZCoach” Nancy R. Fenn describes 10 common introvert attributes that influence how introverts respond to advertising and marketing pitches. Among the traits she highlights is one that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, that “Introverts love to read.” About this characteristic she says:
See that person over there on the cruise reading the small print on the cereal box? That’s an introvert. See that woman across the aisle there, actually reading the inflight magazine? That, too, is an introvert. Whoever thought about putting advertisements in elevators and inside toilet doors had introverts in mind. Well … it’s better than having to talk to the other people in the elevator!!
I think this analysis is priceless, if only because I see myself so clearly in her description. Since I was a tiny tot I’ve been an incredibly avid reader, using reading as an escape from social interaction (as Fenn depicts) but also as a hedge against boredom and unhappiness. There is something so comforting to me about diving into a good book; it gives me a distraction from my sometimes wearying thoughts without draining my energy as spending time with others has a tendency to do.
While reading is always a favorite activity, I do have periods when I’m not so much in need of the written word. I’m content to dip into and out of various books, magazines, and Web sites, without suspending other activities. But at other times, the need to read feels almost like a physical necessity, and long periods of devouring a good book the only antidote.
Since we arrived in Paris I’ve been experiencing this need to read quite acutely, even though, or maybe because, suitable reading material is not so accessible. Books are heavy, and with a heavy heart I had to leave most of mine behind in storage when we got on the plane. I did bring a few, but they are mostly reference books that don’t encourage quick consumption. We have made a few forays to local English language bookstores, and I’ve been able to find a few books to hold me over, but something very special is happening tonight (I’m sure you know what it is) that promises to help me scratch this itch.
Yes, the new Harry Potter book comes out tonight, and Joe and I have already reserved our copies (one for each of us, for the sake of marital harmony) that we will pick up at approximately 1 a.m. tomorrow morning from a cute little bookstore in the 4th Arrondissement. I have enjoyed the Harry Potter series, and I’m not happy to see it come to an end, but I am happy to know that my weekend plans will revolve around the simple pleasures of a ripping good story.