A world without The Alchemist

A friend Raheel shared this graph which lists top 10 most read books in the world on Facebook. As expected, there were some usual suspects in the list like ‘The Bible’ and ‘The Harry Potter series’. Raheel appeared to be a little bummed that the list also features the Twilight Saga and thinks that if anyone is looking for a snapshot into why the world is so fucked up, they need to see what the world is reading. In other words, if too many people are reading about angsty vampires, werewolves with pedophilic tendencies and insipid pinning girls then something is NOT right in the world. 
I am sure Raheel has his reasons for being sick and tired of the Twilight Saga but I think there are other entries far more worrisome than the tales of a teenager who alternates between necrophilia and bestiality. 
For starters, the world can do with a little less religiosity and a lot more compassion but let’s just not go there because I have no desire to be lynched by that overwhelming majority that reads all the religious texts.
Secondly, twilight is not dangerous because it is mostly read by the prepubescent teens (and their older sisters with stunted mental growth and their moms who wants to do all things their little girls do) with absolutely no delusions of grandiosity. If they are happy reading about undead old creeps who look like sparkling teenagers then let them be – in their own little bubble. 
Far more dangerous are those who read absolute shite like ‘The Alchemist’ and think they have had this spiritual and/or philosophical and existential awakening which kinda gives them a license to pontificate according to their heart’s desire. Not only do they want to expound their new found wisdom to any poor unsuspecting soul that comes with the radius of 200 meters, they also think they are doing the others a huge favour by sharing their profundity. It is at times like this one agrees with Scott Adams and blames it all on the Gutenberg press for spreading the pop philosophy mumbo jumbo to the masses. The world would have been a better place had there been no ‘Alchemist’ in it.
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  • No Quran or any of the other usual suspects?

  • Gopal,

    I think they are following the sales figures given by Western publishers. As Quran, Geeta and other religious texts are published by local publishers, they are not there in the list. Had the actual copies in print been counted, Quran would have been right there with Bible because not only every Muslim household has multiple copies, every Hajji who goes to perform Hajj is given a copy as gift by the Saudi Monarch.

  • aargh, pop philosophy… Never heard or read the Alchemist but having lived for sometime in a hippy or as a colleague puts it “sustainability beige”, part of Melbourne I can only imagine. “Eat, Pray, Love” is right up there too… The world is self indulgent and stupid. As you point out, a dangerous mix

  • So true.. Alchemist was pure bullshit..

  • Couldn’t agree more though I’m equally disturbed about the appearance of ‘The Da Vinci Code’. What consoles me is that it fits snugly with the rest of the set.

  • Every time someone gushes about The Alchemist, I roll my eyes. I still don’t see why people love that book.
    And (since someone else mentioned it), I couldn’t even finish Eat, Pray, Love. Ugh.

  • Twilight… a harmless teenage girl’s fantasy that she does grow out of eventually.
    Da vinci code? Its pretty scary, considering the number of facts dear Brownie distorts and the number of lies he makes up to stupefy the ALREADY dumb human population.
    Paulo is a bright fellow. Dont remember the alchemist much (read it in 7th, and I am pretty grown up aaj kal :P) but I loved other of his books. Veronika decides to die and the devil and miss prym.

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