As previously mentioned in other articles/conversations, John Green has always been one of my favorite authors. So I will admit I was little disheartened when I finished “Turtles All The Way Down” with mediocre feelings. “I appreciate the message,” I told my mom. “But it wasn’t my favorite.” And it doesn’t mean, by any means, that John Green has lost his touch.
What the experience did draw my attention to was how books–even the same book–can affect you depending on when and where you read it and who you are when you do so.
When I read my first John Green book, I was in awe. “He writes like I think!” I remember saying. His writing style spoke to me and was so unique than any other I had read, that I felt like I related to him. I was also younger when I used to binge-read John Green. His voice didn’t speak to me this time like it did the first times around.
But rather than be disappointed by that, it made me appreciate the power of a book and the connection I felt to his words at that time in my life. Isn’t it remarkable that a bunch of words on paper can do that for us?
On the flip side, I also used to binge read James Patterson as a teenager. But I stopped for a while because they started seeming to all have similar plots and styles. However, I was recently recommended a James Patterson novel by a friend, and I can’t put it down. Intriguing and disturbing, it’s the thrillers and mysteries that hold my attention these days, and this book was no exception.
(P.S. The thought occurred to me last night that when solving crimes, detectives always look for patterns. There’s always a pattern, even random-ness can be a pattern and think of all the things people could learn about us based on our patterns and doesn’t that just freak you out that all your actions and tumbled thoughts can be reduced down to habits and patterns!)
So yeah…makes me think I should read all books at least twice, if not more times to be sure I’m really getting everything out of it.
Bonus fact: Favorite quote from “Turtles All The Way Down” is: “The world is also the stories we tell about it.”