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January 21st was a special Saturday night in Austin for the many, MANY fans of Young Adult author John Green and his brother, Hank. For the uninitiated, John’s devoted group of readers are called “Nerdfighters” by the author, who has an incredibly popular vlog and a wide influence through his thoughtful books and his omnipresence on the Internet. (By the way, “Nerdfighters” is meant as a high compliment and signifies self-identified “nerds” who like to be informed, celebrate intelligence, do charitable deeds…and, of course, READ!) John and Hank connect on a personal level with the readers by celebrating honesty and individualism. There’s a secret-handshake lexicon of terms that their devotees share, which are summed up by the acronym DFTBA (translation: Don’t Forget to be Awesome).
John and Hank Green. Photo by Jennifer Sturley
John and Hank Green are presently on a cross-country tour to promote John’s newly-published The Fault in Our Stars, which is a poignant novel geared toward young adults. The Fault in Our Stars has been topping the New York Times bestseller list in the last couple of weeks. We were treated to a wonderful reading by John, a rapid-fire Q&A session from both brothers (who have impeccable comic timing honed from posting their many videos to YouTube), and of course, a boisterous singalong with Hank, featuring songs about Quarks and Harry Potter. Proof of the Green brothers’ popularity was evidenced by a packed house of approximately 2000 readers willing to wait for hours after the show for a personalized signature in their pre-signed novels! This event is the type of gathering which absolutely warms the hearts of librarians. What a delight to see a whole auditorium full of avid readers who appreciate big-hearted goofiness and bond over earnest, candid literature.
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