difficult questions

I’m filling out a questionnaire (this process repeats itself with every book) and I came across a question that has held me up for a while:

What do you want readers to take away with them after reading the book?

I thought about this for a while, and the answer that came to mind is so simple it may come across as silly.

An author wants a story and the characters in the story to live on.  A really good story has legs; it walks off from the author and no laws in the world can tie it down. People tell it and retell it and write fanfiction and get all wound up in it. That’s what I would hope for. That’s the golden grail. 

What’s your sense of this? To woo-woo? I thought of being cynical:

I want a reader to walk away with the irresistable urge to go out and buy every book I ever wrote. Multiple copies of every book, all new.To give away to friends and family and total strangers.


I want a very, very rich person to be so bowled over that he or she calls  me up and offer me his or her patronage. No money worries for the rest of my life; I just write what I want to write.

Clearly, I’ve lost all perspective here. Anybody have some to share?