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I dunno, maybe someone out there has written their name more times, it's certainly possible, but at this point it seems unlikely.

It's also possible that I have drawn more fish than anyone else in the world, but I didn't want to brag.

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Good morning John.
I don't wanna hear anybody say this, and I know that there's, like, not a Guinness representative there to confirm it or anything, but I'm fairly certain that you have signed your name more than anyone else on Earth. 

You may have signed your name more than anyone else who's ever existed. And this isn't, like, "Wow, what a profound feat.", it's more like "Why would anyone do that?"

Which is a thing that's worth asking. Like, you're upwards of 600,000 times now, and so it it's a little bit, like, ok. What's going on?

Signed copies of books are a thing and they tend to be more valuable-- there are a bunch of really valuable ones out there. Harper Lee didn't sign a ton of copies of To Kill a Mockingbird so one of those goes for upwards of 20,000 bucks.

J.D. Salinger signed very few things so an envelope with his name on it is for sale for $1400 right now.

Shakespeare lived before signing books was a thing and also all of his stuff is, like, super old now. Also all of his signatures look totally different and all very bad. But! I'm sure if one of them came up for auction some rich person would pay millions of dollars for it.

But John, you have taken a thing that became a thing and done something exceptional with it. And in comparison with these people whose signatures are worth tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, yours has an exceptional distinction.

You have the least valuable signature of any author in the world. But also not. I've got a whole thing planned. Let me get there.

All copies of the first edition of The Fault in Our Stars were signed. Except there were a tiny, tiny number that were, in effect, misprints. These copies without signatures were the result of mistakes.

And that makes unsigned first editions of The Fault in Our Stars extremely rare-- and rare things are more valuable and so your signature on a copy of the first edition of the Fault in Our Stars makes it less valuable.  It has negative value, and yet, you kept doing it.  You went from 150,000 for TFIOS to 200,000 for Turtles All the Way Down, now 250,000 for The Anthropocene Reviewed.

You have flooded the market with your signature.  It makes those books no more valuable.  It can't, because they all are signed.  Now, there are some rare ones that can be worth more.  There are some that got bound with two signature pages in it, that's a misprint as well that's valuable, and there are yetis and spirals and Pokemon balls and Hanklerfish and whoever ends up with that last page which is a hand-written review of what it's like to sign your name 250,000 times, like, that'll be a nice day for that person probably that one will be worth more than the rest of them.  

But mostly, signing this many times doesn't add value, except of course, also it does.  We've been talking so far about like, the collector's market and this like, really sort of strange human instinct of collecting things that feel valuable because they are rare, etc.  That kind of value, I think, is completely separate from the kind of value that you are creating when you're doing this like, lovely ritualized signing thing.

My thoughts are that this is a kind of tangible symbol of appreciation for the reader, and I think that like, all authors are really deeply appreciative of readers and we don't have great ways to show it.  It's not about increasing the monetary value of the book, it's about recognizing that readers are more than just numbers, that they're people.  The words in a book are the author's words, but they were put there by a machine, we all know this, that doesn't make them any less the author's words, but it is a kind of disconnect.  By putting one thing in the book that was not made by a machine, I think the book lives in a different way, and I don't know if this is a thing that anybody knows, but the idea of signing an entire print run of a book wasn't a thing before you decided it could be, and I remember those times it was not an easy thing to get done, but you and the people at Penguin figured out how to make it happen, and that's reflective of a thing about you which is that you like to try to imagine different ways of doing things, like, is something possible?  It should be.  Let's figure out how to do it, and that's a habit that I think is more well-reflected in this new book than any of your previous books, and it's just like, a cool thing about you, so I just wanted to say congratulations and that The Anthropocene Reviewed is out May 18th.  You can pre-order it wherever books are sold and all pre-orders will be signed.  

John, I'll see you on Tuesday.