Name three books you love, one you don’t and one you’re reading now. Now from that list, this woman can be your literary matchmaker, telling you books you would enjoy reading based on your former statements. It is this talent, coupled with a voracious love of books, that led Anne Bogel to start her lifestyle blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy. She describes it as a “lifestyle blog for nerds” where she talks about books (obviously), but also mixes in lifestyle issues such as house and home, family, beauty and style. She has a large following of loyal fans who read her blog, listen to her podcasts and devour her writing. Her latest book, Reading People, focuses on personality types, something that Anne believes creates the foundation of interpersonal and personal applications in all parts of life. When we met Anne, we got to see her library that she built in the front room of her house, with floor to ceiling shelves full of books, comfy chairs and lots of natural light — a book lover’s dream, no matter what your personality type. If this was your office, you’d read as many books as she does. Meet the Modern Mrs. Darcy herself, Anne Bogel, our newest FACE of Louisville.
Tell us how you started your blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy, and how you came up with the name.
The blog was born right around January 1, 2011. My husband and I had put the kids to bed and were talking at the dining room table with take-out sushi and a bottle of wine about the year gone by and the year to come. He suggested I start a blog. I told him he was crazy — I didn’t even read blogs! But it wasn’t too long before he’d sold me on the idea, and the conversation shifted from whether I would do it to what I would call it.
I knew from the beginning that I wanted to write about timeless issues from a contemporary perspective. I’m a longtime Jane Austen fan, so I stole Elizabeth Bennet’s married name and turned it into a blog name.
You say you see the world through the lens of personality types. How has that impacted your life?
I love reading novels, because they let you step into another world and see the world through someone else’s eyes for 300 (or a lot more) pages. I love these personality frameworks, because they enable you to do the same thing — to imagine what it might be like to see the world through someone else’s eyes, with the help of what I know from geeking out over personality types for so many years.
Understanding different personality types, and what they mean, has allowed me to approach my personal relationships with empathy and understanding. And understanding my own personality has allowed me to succeed in life — having difficult conversations or managing my kids’ homework — and to succeed in work — creating content worth reading and managing a team — in ways I simply wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.
Have you always been a voracious reader? How do you continue that level of reading with a busy job and four children?
Yep, I was that kid who got singled out by the school principal in third grade for reading a ridiculous number of books for the school’s fall reading challenge.
I don’t often get to while away the summer afternoons with a book anymore, but I’ve still built reading into the fabric of my life. And honestly, by making reading my job, I’ve ensured its place on my to-do list.
On a practical level, I always have a book with me, and I read before bed every night. Between these two habits I’m sure to get some pages in on even the busiest days.
Tell us about your latest book published last fall, Reading People.
In Reading People, I explore what makes you uniquely you, what makes the people in your life uniquely them and why it all matters. I collect and explore seven popular personality frameworks that have made a big difference in my life, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, StrengthsFinder and the Enneagram, and share life-changing insights that can be gained from each, along with tons of practical applications for love and marriage, productivity, parenting and the workplace.
What is on the horizon for you professionally and personally?
I have a milestone birthday coming up this summer and a new book coming out this fall, an essay collection called I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I work online, so when I meet people in person for the first time they’re often surprised that I’m 5’9”. I hear “Wow, you’re really tall!” a lot.
What are three words that describe you?
INFP, Enneagram 9, HSP. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
What advice do you treasure?
Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is go for a walk.
Fill in the blank. You’ll never see me without my ___________.
I never go anywhere without a book and a snack.
Where can we find you hanging out around town?
What’s your favorite thing to do in Louisville?
Walk around the Crescent Hill Reservoir at the golden hour
Tell us some of your favorite local restaurants.
What’s on your personal reading list right now?
Aside from faith, family and friends, what are three things you can’t live without?
My teapot, Sharpie pens and 6 a.m. workouts.
Thank you, Anne, for carving out time to meet us between your very busy schedule. Check out Anne’s blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy, listen to her podcast, “What Should I Read Next?” and be sure to read her latest book, Reading People.
Thank you to Adele Reding of Adele Reding Photography for the beautiful pictures.
To be inspired by other great women in Louisville, check out our other FACES of Louisville here.