Beyond a Book Review: The Introvert’s Way by Sophia Dembling

Over the past few weeks, I had myself thinking that I was no longer a morning person. When I heard my parents scrambling about downstairs (especially when they turned on the abominably loud coffee maker), I wanted to roll over in bed and avoid them. Wake up and write a few pages before I ventured downstairs. I love listening to the birds singing in the trees outside my window–I love how my room leads out to the porch, the roof, and the big cedar trees in the front yard–and dread going downstairs to make small talk about my mornings.

Maggie writing

Photo credit: Matthew Johnson

Thinking about this, I realized I was the same way at Martel, albeit my college wake-up time was a little bit later. I wanted to wait until my roommates were quiet and tried to avoid talking to them and getting the early morning chatter as I brushed my teeth. It’s not that I didn’t like them and I felt bad since it was sometimes the only times I could see them and keep up a conversation.

This summer, I was beginning to rethink my life-long identification as a morning person. Could the cheeriness have worn off? Did college break me into a night owl? (I am now and forever a Rice Owl).

Thankfully I stumbled upon a book at the library, The Introvert’s Way. Working at the library has been great for many reasons this summer, but finding books and then receiving even better recommendations from the other librarians is the best way I can think of to keep myself engaged and still learning this summer.

The Introvert's Way by Sophia Dembling

Photo from

Many of the book’s message have spoken to me. It’s easy for people to mistake me for an extrovert. I can play the “dog and pony show” of being the life of the party really well. Theater has helped teach me that, but more importantly, leading different organizations from high school through college has taught me that the president/editor-in-chief/section leader/etc must be positive, enthusiastic, and attentive. So I became good at masking the times when my energy zapped down to nothing and my senses became overloaded with the stimuli surrounding me.

It was through this anecdote from Sophia Dembling’s book that I really started to get it: “We [introverts] consider nothing to do something to do. ‘I love waking up in the morning to an empty room after my roommate has gone to class,’ wrote another introvert. ‘I get to lie in bed, drink coffee, and watch an episode of House.'” I immediately recognized this emotion (even though I’d replace House with Doctor Who or something). For the past week or so I’ve been making myself write 750 words before I really get my day started. It has been a great excuse for not going downstairs immediately to join my mom for the morning check-in, but just waving to her before turning back to my typing fingers and the words scrolling across the screen. And now, I don’t feel bad about it. I know that I’ll make up for that time later in the day and I’ll be more energized and less cranky because of it.

This book has so many other gems in it. Once again, I just have to say that I found the right book at the right time. I hope that whoever picks it up gleans as much about how to live life to the fullest, without apologies. Whether that means chatting up everything in the morning or setting aside time for the birds.

Me, I’m still a morning person. Just a solitary one.


About austinausten88

Playwright in love with Classic films, afternoon tea, and Noel Coward. She recently graduated from Rice University. In the fall, she will be exchanging her English major undergraduate status for that of Theatre & Performance Studies graduate student.
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