Did we misinterpret Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Tipping Point’?

Filling up shelves at Ride for Reading
Mostly Tomatos hops on the bikes for Ride for Reading National Week
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Did we misinterpret Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Tipping Point’?

IMG_1509We thought navigating a moving truck down Southgate Avenue was going to be the biggest concern we had as we whipped around rush-hour traffic to reach Book’em for Mostly Tomatos’ latest donation to the Nashville-based non-profit. It was a tight squeeze getting the truck down the narrow road, flanked by cars on either side.

We made it through Southgate. We made it through the right turn on Rains. We did not even struggle with the gate code to enter the parking lot of WNPT – the site of Book’em’s offices and warehouse space inside the Nashville public television building.

It turned out that the parking lot was our biggest nemesis, however, as we reached the Book’em offices.

The truck stops. The door to the back is flung open. The cart full of childrens’ books makes it way to the edge of the truck, and then it happens. The cart reached its tipping point.

Was it a burst of wind? Was it a burst of strength? Was it a devilish lift gate?

Whatever it was, one minute the cart was up. The next minute, the cart was down. We wanted to make a big splash in arriving at Book’em’s offices to donate a couple of carts worth of books to the organization which accepts and donates books to Metro area schools. This was not the splash we had in mind.

But in the volunteering spirit, Book’em Executive Director Melissa Spradlin spring into action and started scooping the books up. We started scooping the books up. Passers by entered the WNPT back door and returned with others to help scoop up our gaffe.

IMG_1511In no time the books were back in boxes, back on carts, making their way inside the WNPT building and in their spot ready to be sorted and cataloged.

No harm. No foul.

Melissa gave us a tour of the WNPT facilities, including the Book’em offices. She showed us that how – with a very small staff, much like ourselves – that the non-profit was able to make a big impact on the Nashville community in the form of helping economically disadvantaged children discover reading through book ownership.

We are very proud to be associated with Book’em, and we look forward to more deliveries there in the future. And we look forward to our tipping point next time being more along the lines of what Malcolm Gladwell had in mind in his definition of the phrase: “The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”

A book, I was taught long ago in English class, is a living and breathing document that grows richer with each new reading.”
Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference