My overall impression of Outliers was a good one. I think that Gladwell does a nice job of supporting his theories throughout the novel; although, I think that his ideas are rather simplified. If anything, I feel as though this book has opened my eyes to a new way to look at the events of our lives. Much of what we do is not random, as we would sometimes like to believe. That is one of the things I really like about this novel: Gladwell uses statistics to support common occurrences or character traits within a society or culture. Obviously we have all heard someone say that something or someone is a “product of society” or that “society plays a large role” in something, but I often found myself accepting those statements as they were rather than looking into them further. This book gave me a chance to look at some specific examples of how certain aspects of society can influence such a major, common action or way of thinking.
I really enjoyed reading about the rice-paddies and how much work goes into the science of cultivating rice in general. I thought that it was interesting how Gladwell relates this to math and the factors that allow someone to be good at math. The only thing that leaves me questioning is that Gladwell only looks at one aspect of success with mathematics. I think that there is more that goes into it than just the persistence. For instance, I think that on an individual level there would be certain cognitive abilities, such as spatial reasoning in geometry or trigonometry, that would come more naturally to some rather than others; however, I have not studied this myself, so I cannot say whether this would be such an influential factor.
On the topic of the eReader, I find myself having several problems. Although it is convenient that I can carry my books with me in a lightweight and compact way, I still find it irritating that I have charge it. I also prefer to make notes in the margins of my books and bookmark certain passages. I think personally, at this point, I would rather spend a little more money and carry my books with me. This is especially true because I choose not to do any extra-curricular reading, unfortunately, as I try to focus more on my classes during the semester. Because of this, I find that carrying an extra small novel with me is not an issue. Plus, I just really like to flip back and forth, which is not easily possible on an eReader.
I’ll continue to keep my mind open; however, I feel at this time in my life, I would prefer to read the ‘old-fashioned’ way. Perhaps I will change my attitude toward eReaders in the future.