The Alchemist — Happy 20th Anniversary of a Monumental Book Paulo Coelho


The book, “The Alchemist” came to me in a very synchronistic way. Since becoming involved in the blogosphere last August I have had the name Paulo Coelho and “The Alchemist” mentioned no fewer than 20 times. I overheard the book being talked about in conversations on the street and in my daughter’s nursery school, on Facebook I was invited to join the Paulo Coelho fan club and on Blog Catalog I connected with Mr. Coelho as a friend. These are just a few examples and when I got a gift certificate from for Mother’s Day I knew what I would spend it on. Okay, so maybe it took me the twentieth time to take action but I did and I now have a new favorite book! Tomorrow, May 29 is “The Alchemist’s” 20th anniversary and this book has changed MANY lives. Since Mother’s Day I have read it twice and can see reading it many more times.

After taking the Oprah/Tolle “A New Earth” Webinar this book was in perfect alignment with it, with my studies the last 18 months as well as the path I have been walking since my healing. Paulo Coelho’s writing is poetic and this story is a seemingly simple one about a shepherd boy making his way from Spain to Egypt to search the Pyramids for treasure. But it is so much more than that. Mr. Coelho talks about what Mr. Tolle would call your life’s purpose as one’s Personal Legend. He speaks of intuition as omens we are meant to follow. He tells of the universal language between us all and how we are all connected. He also expresses himself on the meaning and place of love so beautifully. Here are three of the many wonderful quotes from the book “The Alchemist”:

“The Soul of the World is nourished by people’s happiness. And also by unhappiness, envy, and jealousy. To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only real obligation. All things are one. “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

“Everyone on Earth has a treasure that awaits him,” his heart said. “We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them — the path to their Personal Legends, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.”

“…Before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.'”

Because it is the twentieth anniversary of the book there has been more publicity for it lately. There was also the recent announcement that the movie rights were sold and it looks like it will be made soon with Lawrence Fishburn playing the Alchemist. Paulo Coelho has recently traveled to Spain to celebrate the twentieth anniversary and has asked people to submit their questions by video via I have done so and wanted to share it with you as well:

For those of you who do not know Paulo Coelho I highly recommend reading “The Alchemist“, his other books and checking out his blog and website. He has a wonderful presence and is very involved on the internet. You can even follow him on Twitter. He posts daily quotes and a lot of the time they are JUST what I need to hear to get my day started off right! He also has interviews on Beliefnet one of which is in the back of the latest version of “The Alchemist” along with questions about the book to discuss.

Thank you Paulo Coelho. This book has touched my soul and I believe I did receive it at the perfect time for me to appreciate it at its deepest, when I was questioning my own Personal Legend. I am grateful for this opportunity to share my question with you. I now will move onto your other books with excitement.


  1. Bruno LoGreco

    Hey Jenny! Thank you for taking the time and writing about Paulo Coelho book. It sounds amazing and I think I’m heading to Indigo at lunch. This is the part I really love:

    “…Before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.'”

    Yeah – POWERFUL!

    Have an awesome day Jenny!

  2. Jenny Mannion

    Hey Bruno, Thanks so much for visiting and commenting. Yes, his words are so beautiful and powerful. I would also check out his blog because I know he mentioned offering The Alchemist for free there as well….. but it is nice to have a hard copy. I know you’ll love it and I look forward to reading YOUR post on it! Thanks again, Jenny

  3. Chris Cade | Spiritual Stories and Parables

    Hi Jenny,

    You’re right that he’s now giving away the Alchemist online for free at his blog.

    He actually encourages pirating of all his work. He believes that when people first start writing they give away stuff for free and nearly beg to get their stuff read… and that should not change just because of some success.

    He also saw that when sales in Russia were absolutely terrible and his publisher dropped him there, he found a new publisher and they started giving his books away for free.

    That actually increased physical sales by an astronomical number… something like from 10,000 books total to eventually many millions.

    Just goes to show that sometimes giving away the free stuff is the best way to create a loyal following of people who will buy just about anything you sell!

  4. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Chris, Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge about Paulo Coelho. He deserves as big a following as possible — his words are very inspiring and many would benefit from reading The Alchemist (I know many have already). I love your spiritual short stories site – very helpful place for finding inspiration in all forms — books, movies and stories. Thank you so much for coming by and for commenting. Gratefully, Jenny

  5. Bruno LoGreco

    Firm believer – The more you give, the more you get 🙂 🙂

  6. Jenny Mannion

    You got it Bruno! I love giving and am so grateful for all I have received thus far…. The best thing for me is knowing I helped and given to someone else…. I’ve certainly dealt with times of lack and cannot express how good it felt when I was in that position to receive help in any way that was out of love. I am enjoying giving out my ebook and some advice/coaching to those who are in need…. There are truly amazing people out there that can blossom if just some love and kindness is extended to them….everyone deserves love and kindness and some need to be shown how to treat themselves with the same! Here go my ramblings again! Thanks again for stopping by! Jenny

  7. Greg

    Thanks Jenny for a great post and a heart-felt video. I first read The Alchemist about three years ago and was very much taken with it.

    It is a great reminder that when we realize the goal within of Infinite Oneness, Infinite Power, Infinite Knowledge, and Infinite Bliss, that we we realize that we were never anything but that, except in our imagination, that all along we were seeking something that we had never lost.

  8. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Greg, I am not surprised you read The Alchemist — you are one wise man! Beautiful comment and another reminder of why I love reading your blog so much! Yes the imagination is very strong and it is amazing just how difficult it can be to “let go”. Once you start feeling the rewards and become closer to it…. the motivation remains. Today I had a rough one to say the least and your comment reminded me of where to put my attention and what to “let go” of. Thank you — you’ve helped me ONCE AGAIN! 😉 Gratefully, Jenny

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