The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist by Paulo CoelhoI’m a little more than half-way through my first reading of this book and I’m so glad I didn’t read any of the reviews or the recommendations on my book sites before I started.

The reviews confuse me, and I’ll be taking a harder look at them after I’ve finished my own analysis. But what struck me in a cursory skimming of them is how negative they are. Not just that they didn’t like it, or wouldn’t read it again, or wouldn’t recommend it to friends — they HATED it! — and didn’t have very kind things to say about anyone who DID like it. I’d estimate five zealously negative reviews for every good one, which accounts for the 3-star (give or take) over-all rating.

Not a single one of my book sites thought I’d like this book. Interesting — maybe those algorithms aren’t as helpful as we’d like to think! Or maybe some of the books I have that would have tilted that scale haven’t been included in my book lists yet. I’m constantly finding some that I haven’t cataloged.

I obtained this book from a friend. It came up on my radar at least three times in a 24-hour period, which got my attention, so when she said she still had her copy and would find it for me, I took her up on it right away. She’s reliable when it comes to things like this, but apparently she brought it by within hours!

I started reading it that night. I was sold on the first page. Thirty pages into it, unlike most books, I knew it deserved more than one reading. It’s a quick read if you like, and at less than 200 pages you can get through it in one day if you’re so inclined. It has a “Sally, Dick and Jane” writing style, which I’m surprised doesn’t irritate me in this case. Actually, I was surprised it has a Lexile Measure of 910L — I expected it to be lower, though I *am* new to this measurement and don’t have a lot of experience with it as yet.

I should be finishing this up in a day or two. And I fully intend to read it at least once more. I might buy my own copy of it before then, however, as this one needs lots of scribbles, notes, highlighting and tags.