While growing up in Brazil—a country full of extroverts, carnival, and samba—it wasn’t easy to be shy, introverted, and Japanese.

I was a victim of bullying in high school. It was hard just to survive. It wasn’t easy to talk to my parents. I was in therapy for many years because I had no close friends and no one to share my problems with. I was deeply depressed.

But two years ago, when I was in a bookstore (where I often go because I love reading), I found Quiet.

Before I read Quiet, I’d never heard the word “introvert.” I never found anything that so perfectly explained who I am.

I used to see myself as flawed just because I was different. I didn’t know why I preferred to be alone at home reading a book or watching a movie instead of going out. Now I accept myself. I understand why I like silence much more than crowds, and why I love my own company. And I know there’s nothing wrong with it.