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Uploaded:2014-06-06
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Hoosier Family of Readers sat down to talk to John Green and thoughts about reading.

Link to him reading excerpts from his book "The Fault in our Stars"
http://youtu.be/s3aZsrwGTiM

Additional footage by: Hilary Commer
https://vimeo.com/64970935

Music: Jan Jeroen Spijkervet
The Fault In Our Stars - Original Soundtrack [Unofficial] (Sad Piano Music)

Harry Potter Warner Brothers
Kon-Tiki Nordisk_Film
JOHN: Reading was really important in our house growing up. It was  a big part of my life and really has been ever since. But when I was a little kid, the reading time I had with my parents was, in many ways, like the best quality time I had with them because I didn't have to share with my brother, which was awesome, and also because we got to talk about stuff that really interested both them and me. So I was able to kind of feel like, uh, I was an active participant in the conversation and not just a kid, and that was really important for me. We especially read a lot of fairy tales, and I remember when I was pretty little, I read this book, Kon-Tiki, with my dad - the story of a guy's journey across the ocean on this little raft, and it was just so exciting and real and alive, and it was also great time with my parents, kind of alone time, one-on-one time, and it was really special to me.

JOHN (reading excerpt from TFiOS): "The thing about eggs, though," he said, "is that breakfastization gives the scrambled egg a certain sacrality, right? You can get yourself some bacon or cheddar cheese anywhere, anytime. Tacos, breakfast sandwiches, grilled cheese. But scrambled eggs? They're important."

"Ludicrous," I said. The people were starting to file into the plane now. I didn't want to look at them, so I looked away, and to look away was to look at Augustus.

"I'm just saying, maybe scrambled eggs are ghettoized, but they're also special. They have a place and a time, like church does."

"You couldn't be more wrong," I said. "You're buying into the cross-stitched sentimentality of your parents' throw pillows. You're arguing that the fragile, rare thing is beautiful simply because it's fragile and rare. But that's a lie, and you know it."

JOHN: So when I was a kid, I was pretty lonely a lot of times, I was kind of socially isolated, I was pretty nerdy, so books were a great escape for me, but they were also a way into imagining what it was like to be someone else. They were a way into thinking about a life other than my own and understanding that other people's reality was as intense to them as my reality was to me. It was like a way into empathy, really. So a lot of the books I read when I was a little kid, whether they were sort of books that were supposedly for girls, like The Baby-sitters Club, or adventure novels like Gary Paulsen's Hatchet, they were exciting to me partly because I got to lead these different lives, I got to be someone other than myself.

I wish I had grown up with Harry Potter. But that said, I read Harry Potter as an adult and I enjoyed it tremendously, so I don't feel like I missed out on much. But even in my early thirties, I was expecting a letter from Hogwarts.

Q: What is reading to you?

So what I think reading is at its core is the ability to use text to communicate. It's the ability to use these otherwise meaningless scratches on a page and create ideas inside of your head. So the craziest thing about reading, to me, is that we can, in some ways, literally communicate with the dead. Like I can read something Shakespeare wrote 500 years ago and then it can have life inside of my mind. That's as close to magic a thing as we have.

Everything that you want to do in your life will be made easier and better and more fulfilling by reading. I know that sounds kind of crazy and 'Well, I don't know how reading's going to relate to this or reading's going to relate to that,' but everything - because at its core, it's a way into imagining what it's like to be someone else, imagining what it would be like to have a life different from your own. It allows you to imagine possibilities for yourself and for the people around you that you otherwise can never imagine, so it just expands the map of your world and that, in turn, allows you to live a life different from the one that maybe you think you're fated to.