Throughout the novel, the concept of "paper towns" is mentioned several times. As a former Orlandoan, John Green has seen and heard of many "paper towns". However, his first experience with a "paper town" occurred during his junior year of college, while on a road trip. In South Dakota, he and his friend came across a "paper town" called "Holen". At the end of the novel, John Green states that the story of Agloe presented in the text is mostly true: "Agloe began as a paper town created to protect against copyright infringement. But then people with these old Esso maps kept looking for it, and so someone built a store, making Agloe real."
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