In an attempt to get back into reading, I made my first book of the new year a book I had been meaning to read for years and had recently been lucky enough to find a 25th edition copy of at a local library bag sale: The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.
“To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation”
This book follows the main character Santiago, a young shepherd who has a dream of buried treasure. He sells his flock of sheep, which is all he has, and embarks on a journey to the pyramids of Egypt to not only find the treasure he so frequently has dreamed of, but to find his destiny, otherwise known as his personal legend. The story drags on across a great amount of time, and really shows that this journey is not for the impatient. In the story, Santiago meets a wise Englishman, the love of his life who promises to marry him only when he has completed his personal destiny, and the alchemist, who truly teaches him about the wise journey of finding his true self.
I can easily say this was one of the most beautiful pieces of literature I have ever read. It is not a book that you can speed through and still have a good idea about what the plot is. Rich with beautiful visuals and metaphors, it is more than easy to fall into this book and truly follow along with the story and characters while simultaneously being able to do some self-reflection about your own life. This book gets you thinking about what your “personal legend” may be, and what could be stopping it.
After reading this book, I did a little bit of research into the making of it. Through this, I was able to find out that Coelho wrote this masterpiece in only two weeks back in 1987, as the story itself was already in his soul. He describes the book as less of a piece of literature and more as a self-help story. I think it is a perfect mixture of both. This story is poetically written and spiritually motivating. If this sounds like a story that might interest you, I highly recommend it. I definitely will be revisiting this book again!