Paper Towns Doubles

So here’s something unusual. John Green’s new book, Paper Towns, is coming out in October with two different covers. John gives no explanation on his blog, and I sure would like to know what led to this decision (or INdecision). One of John’s blog reading flock, Ben, makes an observation that is something to think about. He says, “Books cannot be judged by their covers, but I do think that covers may be judged by their book. Once I read Paper Towns, I’ll most likely have a favorite cover. However, until then, I will not. Does this seem like sound logic?”
Sounds logical to me.

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2 Responses to “Paper Towns Doubles”

  1. John Green talks about this on the NIng, too. http://nerdfighters.ning.com/
    He does not go into why there are two covers there either. THey both seems so different to me. I am very curious now to read the book and see which one I feel fits the story. Perhaps the main character has a chameleon-ish personaity and both covers are equally fitting. I have to say that this does seem like a good ploy to overcome judging a book by its cover.

  2. John Green Says:

    (Yeah, I was googling myself. Embarrassing, but true.)

    I’ll probably talk about this on my blog at some point, but the decision was this: We wanted multiple editions partly because we thought they would look really cool in displays, but mostly because we felt it was an effective way of capturing (as Lauri notes above) the character at the center of the book. Each cover represents a way in which she is misconstructed by those around her; each is a kind of inaccuracy.

    We toyed with the idea of putting one image on the front cover and one on the back cover, but I really like the idea of having the reader choose, at the outset, which girl the reader thinks (and wants?) the girl in the book is.

    She is neither, of course–we also wanted to play on the whole idea that the essence of a character in a novel (or a person) can be captured in an image. One of the questions at the core of the book is whether empathy and imagination allow us to understand others in the kind of comprehensive way we understand ourselves. To that end, I would have liked ten covers with ten images, or twenty, or a thousand.

    But, you know, I don’t really sell well enough to justify that expense. :)

    Anyway, it’s a very interesting question, and I’m sorry to have gone on so long, and this is a cool blog, and thanks for noticing “Paper Towns!”

    -John Green

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