Author John Green kicked off his national tour for Paper Towns (Dutton) at the Barnes & Noble in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. The event—which was jam-packed with members of the online Nerdfighters community Green founded with his brother, Hank—was streamed live via BlogTV, and comments were posted to the video throughout the two-and-a-half-hour event.
More than 400 fans attended, some from as far away as Europe. First up was a reading from Paper Towns, begun by Dan John Miller, who narrates the audio editions of Paper Towns, and continued by the author.
John Green stands at the podium, as Hank plays guitar and sings during one of several songs performed during the event. Hank sang “Accio Deathly Hallows,” a song well-known to Nerdfighters that commemorates the end of the Harry Potter series, as well as a new song written for Paper Towns. Additionally, teenage fan Liane Graham performed songs about Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska.
A Q&A session with the Green brothers was followed by John signing Paper Towns; the line lasted for an hour and a half, and B&N sold more than 200 copies. Two Nerdfighters (who, as part of the community, have developed their own YouTube following) flew in from England for the event, and were given their own table to sign backpacks, shirts, sneakers and other items. Several fans wore custom Nerdfighters apparel and brought homemade gifts for the Greens.
One fan shows her support for the Nerdfighters community (others sported shirts and backpacks that read DFTBA, an acronym for the group’s motto: Don’t Forget to Be Awesome).
John and Hank Green’s YouTube channel, Vlogbrothers, has been viewed more than 11 million times (it was born out of their Brotherhood 2.0 project, which consisted of video exchanges between the brothers in 2007). The Nerdfighters community has championed charitable works in the past and currently numbers more than 14,000 members.
Following the NYC event, Green traveled to Boston, Indianapolis, Columbus, Atlanta and Coral Gables, Fla. Tonight he visits a B&N in Orlando, with subsequent stops scheduled in Chicago, Naperville, Ill., Phoenix, Seattle, Menlo Park and Los Angeles. The official book tour will be followed by a “Tour de Nerdfighting,” which the brothers put together. That tour will consist of a cross-country road trip, during which they will visit libraries in 17 additional cities during November.