The though of reflecting upon how I choose the books I read terrifies me. Why? I’m willing to bet that I will realize that the decision is an unpleasant cocktail of image, price and personal interests. Probably closer to that order that I would like to admit. I choose books that look good, this may be based upon the cover or how I would perceive someone who told me they were reading said book; I choose books that aren’t too expensive, if I’m getting it on my kindle than the kindle price had better be cheaper than the cost of the real book, bonus snaps if it’s shockingly low; and I choose books, within these parameters, that sound appealing. Though that popular novel where the main character’s love interests dies and their friend becomes a drug addicts right at the moment that their father announces his long affair with a man is topping all the best seller lists, if a book sounds depressing, I’ll probably steer far, far away from it.
Now, that’s not to say that this method leads me to a grand variety of disappointments. In fact, I’d argue, that it’s quite the opposite. I like so many of the books I read because I follow these odd and sort-of stringent guidelines. No, really. I would reread about 75% of the books I read, in fact it might actually be closer to 80%. But, sometimes, I meet a book that didn’t sing the way I hoped it would.
This is (kinda) that book.
I saw it in Foyles and was intrigued by the blurb. I read about it on The Happiness Project blog and it sounded good. I saw that it was $4.99 for the kindle version on amazon and I bought it. And I read it. It was okay.
Malcom Gladwell’s The Tipping Point discusses the tiny, barely perceptible but crucial factors that turn a trend into an epidemic. How was it that Paul Revere’s ride was so effective in warning the colonialists that the Brits were bound for Boston Harbor? How could it be that, seemingly all of a sudden, New York’s crime rate plummeted? And how could it be that a book becomes a best seller? Gladwell wants to demystify it.
And he did. There wasn’t a moment when he said ‘THIS IS IT’ as I kind of wished there was, but he communicated his point well. I feel like I know more about what causes these phenomenons to occur. I just wish there could have been more anecdotes. The style is factual, as probably makes sense for a book talking about social occurances, but it veers just a touch too far. There are moments when Gladwell’s conversational tone shines through and that’s what I wish there was more of.
Luckily, the book was a short read. I did get something out of it and I will forever be checking my personality for coffee-shop maven characteristics. I’d recommend it to you, only if your interested in the topic. While the book is well written, it was a very particular audience who reads a particular tone. If you don’t fall into that sphere, your enjoyment might be limited.
What does it take for you to recommend a book to someone?