It’s not like we stop needing the comfort and help that a good story can bring when we graduate from high school. I am still looking for answers to questions about the meaning of life. I am still trying to fathom the wondrous strangeness of love. I am still trying to make my way through life despite heartache and loss. So yes, when I set out to write a novel about two young people living with cancer who fall in love with a book and then with each other, I was writing it for teenagers. But I was also writing it for my adult self — the one who wanted to know whether love really is stronger than death and who wanted to find hope and joy and humor amid hard times. Those desires know no age.
John Green, “Are You Too Old for Young Adult Fiction?” in Cosmopolitan
I want one!
For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.
Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.
John Green's readers
- Question: What is one thing that you wish your fans would ask you, but never have? And how would you answer?
- John Green: You guys have asked me so many questions that I don't think there's ANYTHING you've never asked, except for really personal and/or weird questions I'm grateful to you for not asking. HOWEVER...because my readers are nice people who do not tend to think of themselves when chatting with me (you're very empathetic!) I think one question I don't get asked much is how I feel about my readers. Whether I like them. Whether I'm grateful to them. So let me answer that: Yes. I like them so much. I am so fascinated by them and feel so lucky to have the kind of readers who read my books generously. The truth is, a book can't be good unless and until the reader of that book makes it so. It means so much to me that my books are read so thoughtfully by you, and I am endlessly grateful for all that you do to try to make my books, flawed though they are, the best they can be. So thanks.
Reading is dangerous.