So, several days ago on John Green’s blog, we noticed that he would be taking part in The Interview Show at The Hideout, one of my fave Chicago bars – and that he was offering to buy any librarian who showed up a drink.
Well, I like free drinks, and I like The Hideout, and my boyfriend had a passing interest in hearing what Tom Geoghegan (one of the guys running for Rahm Emmanuel’s seat, and another Bazer interviewee) had to say. So we figured we would trek down there (The Hideout is the most mysteriously located bar ever) and see what was up.
The interview was great – of all the folks on the show, Green was the funniest and at least appeared to be the least uncomfortable. If you’d like to watch the interview, it’ll be posted on YouTube in the near future.
After the show, N and I met up with one of my co-workers and her boyfriend, and (after asking John what the deal was) we promptly cashed in on our free drinks. We then decided that we really needed a picture with him, so we did that, and then lapsed into conversation. He shared a great anecdote about Looking for Alaska that probably isn’t appropriate for this blog, but if you’re curious I’m happy to fill you in. As my co-worker said, anyone who would buy drinks for librarians has to be a good person. There’s also a lot to be said for an author who’ll have a candid, random chat with you at a bar, and who can talk about his books without sounding either awkward or pretentious. I was very impressed by John Green.
We also met his wife*, who is really beautiful and very friendly, and who said something interesting – my co-worker mentioned to her that she was glad John was a nice guy, because it’s sad to like a book and dislike the author. (True. Mark Danielewski seemed like kind of a pretentious jerk, for example, and while it wasn’t unexpected, it made me think differently about his work.) John’s wife laughed and said she’d had the opposite experience: she was dating him while he was working on Looking for Alaska, and she was worried when he gave it to her that she wouldn’t like it (she did) – because how awkward a conversation would that be? It’s not something I’d ever thought about, seeing as how I’ve very intentionally never dated a writer, but that would be terrible: “I really like you, but this book you’ve been working on is terrible.”
So, to conclude, we had a lovely time, and now I feel even better about handing his books out to teenagers. (And adults, for that matter.)
Us with John Green, author of the fabulous and wildly popular Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, and Paper Towns
* I found out later that one of my sisters is actually friends with John’s wife from college, which adds a whole other level of weird to this story.