Reaching the Tipping Point in the shift from books to e-readers

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Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The  Tipping Point, explores the idea that products, ideas, values, etc can be tipped, or do tip when certain criteria are ‘activated’. Wikipedia describes a Tipping Point (sociologically) as:

In sociology, a tipping point or angle of repose is the event of a previously rare phenomenon becoming rapidly and dramatically more common. The phrase was coined in its sociological use by Morton Grodzins, by analogy with the fact in physics that adding a small amount of weight to a balanced object can cause it to suddenly and completely topple.

Applied to the world of books and e-readers, a tipping point will be reached when more digital books (e-books) are sold than traditional paper books. Of course there are many who believe this will never happen, but these predictions have history stacked against them. Think music, video, radio, TV, theatre, etc, etc.

I wondered what the signs of an emerging Tipping Point would look like, and this morning smiled a little because of an event in my house.

I’m writing this post in the hope that other’s with similar stories might add to the post (comment below) to build a list of criteria.

My event happened while looking for our recently acquired Kindle. I couldn’t find it in any of the ‘usual spots’. Gave up looking and went for a shower. As I walked into the bathroom I spotted it on the floor next to the toilet : ) Had me laughing for a little while and realised this may be a sure sign that books are out and Kindle’s are in. In my house anyway.

If you have any anecdotes that point to a Tipping Point, please share them in the comment box below.


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