Kayleigh Roberts
February 18, 2015 11:49 am

For years, the very John Green-y quote, “I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met,” has been making the rounds on the Internet and especially on Tumblr, all with attribution to John Green. Legend has it that the line is from Green’s novel Paper Towns. Over the years (seven since Paper Town was released), so many people have told John Green that he wrote the line that John Green totally believed it himself, which isn’t implausible considering A) the number of edits a novel goes through and B) the overwhelming John Green-iness of the quote.

Thanks to the power of Reddit, Green became aware of the mix-up, and realized that he actually didn’t write that quote — contrary to what the Internet, fans, and posters being sold online might say. He immediately felt terrible (because he’s still awesome) and went to work setting the record straight and giving proper attribution to the nerdfighter (that’s what John Green fans call themselves, ps) who brought that gorgeous quote in the world.

In a video posted on the mega-popular YouTube channel that he manages with his brother, vlogbrothers, John addressed the error and explained that the quote actually originates from a 13-year-old Tumblr user named Melody. Melody apparently liked making artwork featuring quotes from Green’s books, which eventually led to an original quote of hers being misattributed and caught in an Internet whirlpool of confusion.

It’s embarrassing that Green & co. didn’t realize that, not only did he not write the quote, but that it just totally doesn’t even appear in the novel it’s so often attributed to. They’ve even been selling a poster in the official DFTBA store featuring the quote and attributing it to Paper Towns. The whole situation is all kinds of embarrassing and kudos to John Green for taking full ownership of the mistake. To make things right, he’s paying Melody royalties for the poster (including backpay against posters they’ve already sold) and featuring another piece of her art as a poster in the store, with royalties for that product headed her way as well. Finally, a John Green ending that doesn’t make us want to cry all the tears.

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