In which an INFP goes to ALA

I am a rather extreme example of an INFP (according to the Myers-Briggs personality type scheme of things), and truly, my life is just one long stream of INFP-ness. Including my day yesterday, in which I left home for Washington DC and the summer meeting of the American Library Association.

I is for introvert. Introverts tend to become very tired when they spend lots of time with other people...by the time I actually got to the Exhibits at ALA, I had spent six hours travelling with my Dear Boys (we're staying at my mother's house). Six hours in which both of them essentially wanted to sit on my lap, so by the time we arrived, crawling into a corner and hiding seemed like an excellent idea. But instead, the moment we got safely to Arlington, my mother drove back into DC, to get to the last twenty minutes of the exhibits, and then I went over to the SCBWI get together. A large group of strangers is not introvert heaven, and I questioned my sanity, but happily I met some old blogging friends, and met some new ones, and so was glad I went.

N is for intuitive. As opposed to S people, who rely on facts, common sense, and past experience, N people trust vaguely that their intuition will direct them. N people tend to arrive at exhibit halls having left their lists and maps at home by accident, and trust to the fates that they will be led in the direction of the books they want. This doesn't work very well, because sometimes one forgets the name and publisher of the book one really wants (the new Baritmaeus one) and feels futile. However, I did come home with a nice little bag of arcs, including Pegasus, so that was ok.

F is for feeling vs thinking. Which is to say, I am not so very good at approaching situations with calm logic (see above). More crazed, emotional squirrel than calm, thoughtful book reviewer. I tried to hide this--because what publisher wants to give ARCs to crazed squirrels? But I don't know if it worked.

P is for perception. The main distinction in this fourth category is whether a person values closure, or open-endness; the realization, or the expectation. I have spent the past week in just a giddiness of happy anticipation, and so, even if I hadn't gone last night, and hadn't gotten any books or met new people, I would have gotten my money's worth just from how much I looked forward to it.

I don't know when I'll make it back into town...My mother has a full weekend of bird banding, and although I'm very proud that my mom is an ace bird bander, it does mean that she isn't home to keep an eye on the kids. And, trying hard to think logically, based on past experience, it probably would be Very Stressful to take the boys into town with me today....so I'll probably just spend the day anticipating tomorrow afternoon, when I'll be able (d.v.) to go back....maybe even with a list (ha ha--sarcasm laugh).


  1. Charlotte, however you "do" ALA, you are going to come home with some unique, special memories and new connections that were waiting just for you. I sense that you are the type of person who will recognize and gravitate toward those occasions when they're about to happen. So I wouldn't worry about the "N." Or any of the letters. And, using that "N," and "F," you might well come upon a great adventure with your boys today. Maybe a clock that strikes thirteen....

    P.S. I don't remember if I've ever commented here before, but I've been reading and loving your blog for months. I even went back and read many of your older entries.

  2. I'm glad you managed to grab a copy of Pegasus even though you didn't get the latest Bartimaeus. Sounds like you had a great time!

  3. Thanks Toby! I appreciate your hopeful words!

    And thanks Chachic! It was very exciting when the rep at the Penguin booth went under the tables for a copy of Pegasus just for me...

  4. Lol, that sounds EXACTLY like me. I'll be at ALA tomorrow so maybe I'll see you! (My badge says Jennifer Wang and Books At Midnight.) I'm sort of scared of approaching publishers too, but you seem to have fared great! Woo, excitement. :D

  5. I'm glad you went, even if it was highly stressful. I'd love to go, though I'd probably be just about as stressed as you... *jealous*

  6. I went to ALA in Anaheim several years ago (I live in the LA area so it was practically free) with the idea of going to many panels and learning many useful librarian-type things. But I was so entranced by the exhibit area I could hardly leave it! I can't say I made lots of contacts at ALA but I brought home bags of books...and how can you go wrong with that!

  7. Oh, you got Pegasus! How cool! I'm looking forward to hearing what you think! :)

    Are you at the extremes of all of your letters? I'm quite I and overwhelmingly J, but I go back and forth between S and N and between T and F. I come out with different results on those every time I do a test.

  8. Jenn, I hope you are having a good time! I wasn't able to go back today, probably not tomorrow either, but most definitly on Monday...

    I wish all you others were here too, and I was able to go hang out more!

    Jenny--I am pretty firmly all of my letters; although I am sometimes forced to pretend to be J (cause of the children)

  9. Charlotte this is the best ALA post I've read yet. LOL I am just like you. I can't get to ALA until Monday afternoon and will hope to catch the Poetry Blast and the CSK breakfast. I am trying to think of what I can do to prepare for my few hours on the exhibit floor, but alas can't quite come up with an actual plan other than show up and believe it will go great. mmmm, INFP much? Oh yeah!

    I hope I run into you!!! :)

  10. Since I couldn't even talk myself into getting any ARC's, I think you're well ahead of the game, chica. Seriously: all that color, movement, and lack of map thing meant I just WANDERED for HOURS and then wanted to crawl under one of the tables. Definitely some organization next time~!


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