Seven quick questions/answers on ALEPH

EN FRANçAIS ICI>>> Sept questions sur ‘Aleph’

In his most personal novel to date, internationally best-selling author Paulo Coelho returns with a remarkable journey of self-discovery. Like the main character in his much-beloved The Alchemist, Paulo is facing a grave crisis of faith. As he seeks a path of spiritual renewal and growth, he decides to begin again: to travel, to experiment, to reconnect with people and the landscapes around him.

How did your latest ‘pilgrimage’ and writing Aleph come about?

Everybody must leave his/her comfort zone from time to time. Spirituality is not only praying and meditating. You need to act.

The idea of a second chance is a welcome thought to many. What made you take yours?

Small decisions may hold significant consequences. As a writer, I must take a second, a third, an eleventh chance till I arrive where I am planning to go.

What would you say to someone who wanted to take their second chance but lacked the confidence to do so?

Remember: you can sell your time, but you cannot buy it back.

One of the messages in Aleph is that what we do now affects our future. Was there a pivotal moment when you knew that the way you chose to act would determine the course of your future?

Every single moment in life is a pivotal moment. Every day has a moment where you can change everything–the problem is that we are scared to recognise this moment.

Can you explain the concept of the “Aleph”?

Aleph is NOW. The present moment, holding all the past and the future consequences.

In Aleph your routine was diminishing your sense of purpose. For most people routine is unavoidable. How can they prevent their routine from consuming their destiny?

Routine is not unavoidable. When we are enthusiastic about life, we strive to become better than we are. And so we become.

You are a great advocate for online and digital publishing. Do you think this will have a positive effect in bringing new readers to your message?

Not only that. It allows, for example, that a Brazilian reader in US can have Aleph or any of my books in Portuguese. However, writers must be aware that online and digital publishing is changing the way we write.

Interview for


  1. Just finished reading Aleph. I found some bright spots which resonate with my own journey. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Vanessa Velasco says:

    I Identify mijself with the book, when I started reading it, it felt like I am reading part of my life. Reading Aleph, helped me remember valuable things that I have forgotten because of this busy and stressed world……Thanks.

  3. anna says:

    i just completed reading aleph.. when i read your book i feel like its me taking all those journies,, its my soul which is tormented by the mistakes of the past, its my soul that flies with the eagle above lake Baikal, , and i feel every emotion u r feeling, i felt the cold wind above the rocks, i felt your love like a river.. and i was ready to burst , to pour it upon the whole world , upon those souls that have forgot to love ,,, sitting here thousands of miles away from you , i have a feeling that i know you, i know that i too can lit a fire on the mountain some time like you have lit for me through your works… aleph is the 13 th book of yours i read….
    p.s. i come from a remote town in india. i would like to invite you to my place.

  4. Veronica says:

    Definitivamente ESTIMADO Paulo con Aleph, volviste!!!!

  5. Triana says:

    Me siento muy conectada a lo que escribes, tanto asi que en twitter el 14/12/11 escribí­ esta reflexión: A veces hay q alejarse,para acercarse mejor. A veces hay q perderse,para encontrarse. A veces, basta con callar y aprender a escuchar. Unos dias después llegué a lapag. 248 de Aleph donde escribes: …. hay que ir lejos antes de comprender lo que está cerca.
    Me pasó también con Brida y el Zahir. La secuencia en la que has escrito estos libros encaja en mi propia historia. Aleph lo he leí­do justo ” A tiempo “. Un fuerte abrazo. Me encantarí­a dártelo personalmente. Triana

  6. Ginnia Crespi says:

    My beloved Grandpa Coelho,
    I’ve read your last book and I keep being impressed!!! You’re awesome. Thanks for sharing your experiencies, I love it.
    Stay blessed and xoxo :) !!!

  7. Régine says:

    Vous n’avez donc toujours pas trouvé ? La vérité est meuble… í  tiroirs !
    Il vous arrive donc aussi d’avoir l’í¢me en peine ? (“quelqu’un a dit que les larmes étaient le sang de l’í¢me” (p91) ou, peut-íªtre … le “sans” de l’í¢me ?
    Je vous imaginais guerrier solitaire, vous avez “un maí®tre”.
    Je n’ai pas d’épée ; ne suis pas adoubée. Est-ce que cela me manque ? Je continue entre chaque lecture (un livre ici ; un conte de noí«l lí ) í  vous attendre. Point de révélation cette fois. Pas encore (p. 169). Mais toujours beaucoup de plaisir. Et quelle joie de savoir qu’il me reste encore quelques chapitres pour ce soir.

  8. indi says:

    Dear Mr. Paulo,
    Your books inspire me greatly. They have helped me to encourage my daughter to expand and explore her life further. I feel that I managed to convince her to work in another country by using “The archemist” as an example; that in the end, the treasure could be right at our doorstep, but we need to make the journey in order to find it. (She is currently working in New York). I am also happy to say that it also convinced me to travel to Eygpt to look at the Pyramids, which I did in year 2009. I have just finished reading Aleph; it is a very inspirational book for me personally. By the way, I am a Malaysian Chinese. Once again, Thank you.

  9. jackienoriega says:


  10. Adriana Gil says:

    gracias por estos escritos maravillosos, igual que los demás libros Aleph nos brinda la oportunidad de cuestionarnos y buscar mas opciones para vivir felices y compartir con los que amamos

  11. kwnstantina says:

    every single moment in life is a pivotal moment.Every day has a moment where you can change everything-the probleme is that we are scared to recognise this moment…my favourite point in this interview…a great message to the people who deny or forget to recognise these moments just because they feel a fear of taking risks….

  12. mathilde otgaar says:

    ‘Routine is not unavoidable. When we are enthusiastic about life, we strive to become better than we are. And so we become’. thank you for Aleph thank you for ‘sharing’ your path so i am better able to find discover choose Be on mine & enjoy be grateful while walking every sec. in every state in be in .. ;)

  13. Loker Seni says:

    Thank For Information About Book….

  14. daisy says:

    Missing Thelma’s messages . Hope she is well.

  15. daisy says:

    An Amazing way to look on the journey of life. Thank you Paulo for Aleph – I couldn’t put it down.
    Love like a flowing river ? Yes, with the quiet ripples and and then the torrents it is still there but some times it is blocked and can’t go on its planned way and has to find another course however hard that is .

  16. LoveM says:

    The Mind is always working
    Grasping at means of manipulation
    The Heart is forever shining
    Radiating its beauty and benediction

  17. Patrizia says:

    Dear Mr Coelho, thank you for always being present in all the shifts of my life. Your books always come to me as a sudden epiphany and as a deep comfort. Sometimes I have the feeling you are writing TO ME which is – I guess – the Stendhal feeling of the reader. Love, Patrizia.

  18. Kerry says:

    What an inspoiration you are, dear Paulo. I eagerly await the launch of your book in South Africa. When will you come here for a tour, you have thousands of fans. I love your bookls, they are me. Love, light and blessings. Xx

  19. clarissa says:

    When will this be available in the Philippines? I’ve been waiting for your latest book.

  20. coool-girls says:

    What a wonderful read in Mdonk .. Benefited greatly

    Thank you

  21. Savita Vega says:

    I find the final words in this interview to be very provocative: “writers must be aware that online and digital publishing is changing the way we write.” I wish you could expound on that. Lately I have been thinking a lot on how the possibility for open interaction between the writer and his/her audience, as well as the immediacy of feedback from that audience, influences the writer. It is indeed so very different now from the days in which writers wrote in near absolute seclusion from their audience, and their primary feedback came in the form of letters which, if they could reach the writer at all, took days or weeks to arrive. Now a writer can put his/her work out there – thoughts, excerpts, whole stories – via the internet, and, within minutes even, receive responses from readers. In a way, it makes me feel that writing is changing in that it is becoming more of a mutual exchange. It used to be that readers were influenced by writers: now, the writer can be just as deeply influenced by his/her readers. It seems to me more like a real relationship – where the flow of ideas, emotions, etc. goes in both directions.

  22. Brenda says:

    Heading out to get my copy now; cannot wait to start it!! If you are EVER in Central Texas, visit us at Fort Hood Open Circle, the oldest military pagan spiritual place in the world. We welcome everyone, with love and light!!!! Blessed Be, Paulo! Love all your books!

  23. Margherita says:

    Caro Paulo,
    è vero che le scelte del nostro presente condizionano il nostro futuro. E’ encomiabile la tua iniziativa di pubblicare in internet parte dei tuoi libri: scelta che io condivido. Ora ti pongo una questione: carissimo Paulo, tu saresti daccordo di offrirmi la possibilití  di divulgare, tramite il tuo sito ed il tuo blog, una parte del mio romanzo inedito per saggiare il gradimento da parte dei tuoi lettori e sostenitori? Saresti cosí¬ generoso da aiutare un esordiente a raggiungere il suo scopo?
    Se dovesse andare a buon fine il mio sogno anche tu, Paulo, potresti dire di aver contribuito ad un’opera di PACE perchè un terzo dei possibili futuri guadagni derivanti dalla pubblicazione del mio romanzo andrebbero a sostenere l’alfabetizzazione delle bambine che, in un’area povera della terra, non possono sostenere le spese per accedere alla scuola.
    Grazie di cuore se mi vorrai rispondere, anche privatamante.

  24. honestinjun says:

    ‘Aleph’ is an extraordinary, fascinating book. It is a lot like my story, but with a more melodramatic twist. I loved and lived the story when I went through the pages. How did you know? Is this the story of each and everyone of us? Paulo Coelho, I love you like a river, simply for your brilliance!

  25. susanhaschemi says:

    dr. poulo doosto baradare azizam,ba eftekhar begooyam ,baraye avalin bar 1 ketab beh zabane parsi beh name kimiagar khandam wa besyar lezat bordam,omidvaram keh in m man mitavanam hata beh eng,ya almani bekhanam,vally beh zabane madari lezatash bishtar asst,ba arezooye salamati barayetan susane shoma………. ketabe jadid ra ham betavanid beh parsi tarjomeh konid

  26. susanhaschemi says:

    awesome,you are great my paolo,i,m so proud i could read the first time a book in pairsion language,parsi,kimiagar,the alchimist………….it is somting els if u can read a book in your own language, tnx, and god blessssssssssssssssss u,your susan…………..
    and now this book i can read it in eng,or german,,but i hope to read it also in parsi……..

    1. haschemi susan says:

      goodday,my dear doktor poulo:it is very very nice if iranian people could read also the book ,,ALEPH,,in farsi.please let me know,if i can have this book already in parsi.thanksssssssss .with the best wishes ,and god bless you my brother.your susan haschemi.

  27. Iva says:

    Paulo, I cannot wait to read your new book as I read your work. Great a new book is coming. Thank you !

  28. Annie says:

    Time and Space stopped,
    with Agape it is always Now
    Time and Space disappeared,
    with Agape it is always Here

    Never comes tomorrow
    and I ve got no time for sorrow
    Never comes tomorrow
    and I ve got nowhere to go

    my heArt a time and space of Love
    Out of my mind they said I am
    “and maybe you are a little bit mad”
    once you know Aleph you ‘ll understand

    Love and Gratitude

    1. sanya says:

      Marvellous…simplicity in each word with a peace and truth revealing insight to reader…

  29. Robert says:

    Aleph was a fascinating book. I too have felt an instant connection with someone after we looked into each others eyes..
    I read the pilgrimage recently too and after all those mystical experiences I am surprised you felt a sense of loss and detachment. No judgement or criticism intended just an observation. Thanks for your writing!

  30. Kidoris says:

    “As soon as you look at the world through an ideology you are finished. No reality fits an ideology. Life is beyond that.” ~ Anthony Mello

    PS: I have a good explanation for success: The measure of success is within one. You alone can know whether you are on a successful path or not.

  31. Cristina says:

    Uma das frases q mais me marcou do Aleph foi ‘é o que fazemos no presente que redimirá o passado e logicamente mudará o futuro”.
    Tí£o simples, exato. Quanto poder neste momento, nesse suspiro, nessa batida do coraí§í£o :)
    Qro ler Jorge Luis Borges por causa de vc.

    Bjos, Deus te ilumine, amo vc

  32. karen says:

    I think about how often I’ve heard, “You only get so many chances.” But “wow” – “…a second, third, an eleventh chance until I arrive till I arrive at where I am planning to go.” “Why not?” I think this makes much more sense to me. So I think I’ll stop listening to those who say otherwise.

    Dearest Paulo, I am so excited about the success of your new book and waiting to turn the pages as soon as it arrives. with love, blessings, karen

  33. Leandro says:

    Albert Einstein once said “There are two ways to live your life:
    One is to believe that miracles do not exist.
    The other is to believe that everything is a miracle. ”

    The Paulo Coelho, through your journey of self discovery, ends up helping thousands of people who are also on a journey of discovery auto’. Aleph is a good example, a fascinating book that makes us think more about our lives and how we are driving it.

  34. ARCH says:


  35. Heidi Amira says:

    Cant wait to read it!

  36. ketki says:

    Hi Paulo,

    I am reading ALEPH now…… And i am having this strange feeling….. I just don’t want the book to get over…… I don’t want to reach the last pages of the book…… Its a kind of emotional bond i have developed with the book……. Its beautiful…… Thanks for giving me insights into many, many simple and beautiful experiences that i tend to overlook everyday……. Routine does make me a boring person…. I have decided to undo the boredom that routine has brought to my life……

  37. Marie-Christine says:

    Cette question sur Aleph
    Merci pour m’avoir donne la chance de traduire une part sur le blog. Ca m’a permis d’apprendre le portugais et de m’ameliorer sur les traductions. Felicitations pour atteindre le nr 1 en Italie,USA . Finlande et Espagne.

  38. Heart says:

    Honestly, I’m so excited about Aleph and feel so proud to be part of sharing your new “baby”. So far I’ve read 59 pages. Let me share one reflection I had after reading the first few pages. It was the feast day of St Michael, and I had a little card of a picture of the archangel killing the big dragon, sitting out, which directly must have inspired my reflection.

    Well, I was reading about your conversation with your mentor, about confronting a feeling of not being happy, and asking yourself what a mentor really means to you. Oh, btw, it is extremely interesting to get a bit of an insight into a mentor-ship I myself will never have an opportunity to have, because it is in a society me as a woman, I could probably never be a member.

    Now, my reflection was; My own spiritual directors (two) came to mind, a relationship that ended because of various reasons. Myself, I haven’t had a mentor in the last 11 years. As you, I am immensely grateful for the guidance these two men gave me. At this point, still, I am happy to be free of such guidance. I am happy to be on my own, just trusting my own relationship to the Divine. Today, mentor ship to me is any human being, sign or whatever I meet along the road.. It is just wonderful. No judgements. No do this do that. Just be.

    Anyway, coming to the core of my reflection. I was thinking about the relationship between you and I. I was thinking of quite a few times I have caused you to through a fit, where I have touched something inside you, that provoked you, and got that volcano going. It has happened at least three times I can think of. Each time, I had no idea you would react like that to what I expressed. It just happened. So, what does St Michael has to do with it? I read about being unhappy and sad in the firs pages of Aleph, and thought perhaps my role in meeting you isn’t so much about this, as about confronting anger. I saw St Michael with his long sword killing the dragon, as my words sticking into your anger and taking it off your shoulder.

    Please, you do not have to publish this. First of all this is between you and I. Of course, as Aleph point out. Everything we go through, most people go through. Each and everyone in our own way..

    God Bless

  39. Heimo Kruschinski says:

    Thank you for posting the interview. Very interesting indeed. I think one can find many truths to everydays life. I’m really looking forward to Aleph. Normally I’m always waiting on the paperback edition, but I’m afraid I have to make an exception. :-)
    I also think incidentally that the writing will change in the coming years. The new media that are available, represent a great opportunity. As long as the author not be confused. A new medium does not write books, it’s just a new way of dissemination, discussion and independence. I think it’s fantastic with which conviction you go that route. Thank you for that, we can learn a lot!

    I wish you all a wonderful day

  40. LoveM says:

    Spirituality…is Nothing…i think…say or do…
    ByGrace HeArt AtOne

  41. Pithy responses. I need to look out for this book. Thanks for your motivating and inspiring messages.

  42. Samar says:

    Dr. Paulo
    At first I ll provide a quick feedback about the power of ALeph which I ve noticed that made you write the fullstory in the present states as It happens every single fraction of second in our lives , was that for a personal purpose ?!?!
    Next what have withdrawn my attention is the story is an Aleph for me by itself as when I read it I can tell that I ve already passed through similar circumstances and I overanalyzed what was going on until that I ve read that : words , explanations and questions sometimes add more complexity , so I gave up thinking spiritually , knowing well that there are millions of reasons behind picking up the book on 27/ 9 .
    Best of luck

  43. Marie-Christine says:

    Traduction en francais

    Sept questions sur ‘Aleph’

    Dans son roman le plus personnel a ce jour, l’auteur a succes international, Paulo Coelho revient avec un remarquable voyage de decouverte. Comme le personnage principal dans ‘L’Alchimiste’ Paulo fait front a une grave crise de foi. Comme il cherche un chemin pour un renouveau et developpement spirituel, il decide de repartir a zero : de voyager, d’experimenter, de reconnecter avec les gens et les paysages autour de lui.

    Comment votre dernier ‘pelerinage’ et ecrire ‘Aleph’ s’est il effectue?

    Tout le monde doit quitter sa zone de confort de temps en temps. La spiritualite n’est pas seulement de prier et mediter. Vous devez agir.

    L’idee d’une deuxieme chance est la bienvenue pour beaucoup. Qu’est-ce qui vous a fait prendre la votre?

    Les ‘petites decisions’ peuvent detenir des consequences significatives. En tant qu’ecrivain, je dois prendre une deuxieme, troisieme et onzieme chance jusqu’a ce que j’arrive ou j’ai l’intention d’aller.

    Que diriez-vous a quelqu’un qui voudrait prendre leur deuxieme chance mais n’est pas tres sur de lui/d’elle?

    Souvenez-vous, vous pouvez vendre votre temps, mais vous ne pouvez pas le rachetez.

    Un des messages dans ‘Aleph’ est que ce que vous faites maintenant affecte votre avenir. Y-at’il eu un moment central ou vous saviez que la maniere dont vous choisirez d’agir allait determiner le cours de l’avenir?

    Chaque moment dans la vie est un moment crucial. Chaque jour a un moment ou vous pouvez tout changer – Le probleme est que nous avons peur de reconnaitre cet instant –

    Pouvez-vous expliquer le concept de ‘l’Aleph’?

    Aleph est MAINTENANT. Le moment present, contenant tout le passe et les consequences de l’avenir.

    Dans ‘Aleph’ votre routine influencait votre raison . Pour la plupart des gens, la routine est inevitable. Comment peuvent-ils empecher leur routine de devorer leur destinee?

    La routine n’est pas inevitable. Lorsque nous sommes enthousiaste sur la vie, nous nous evertuons de devenir mieux que ce que nous sommes. Et alors, nous devenons.

    Vous etes un grand avocat pour la publication en ligne et digitale. Pensez-vous que cela aura un effet positif pour rallier des nouveaux lecteurs a votre message?

    Non seulement ca. Cela permet, par exemple, qu’un lecteur bresilien aux USA peut obtenir ‘Aleph’ ou n’importe quel autre de mes livres en Portugais. Cependant les ecrivains doivent etre conscients que la publication en ligne et digitale change la maniere dont nous ecrivons.


  44. A. Williams says:

    Loved all you books and have learned to look at life in a different way
    Thank you

  45. jasmine ponciano says:

    dear mr. coelho,

    you really is my idol. i do appreciate all your writings for it touches and inspires my soul.

    thank you so much.

  46. I just got the book and Im reading it now but I wish if I can get it in spanish kindle edition … About Aleph, I really enjoyin the book so much, and I will leave my comment after I finish it.. thx you Paulo You are the best!!!

  47. Please we want Aleph kindle edition in Spanish too


  48. Alexandra says:

    What would you say to someone who wanted to take their second chance but lacked the confidence to do so?

    Remember: you can sell your time, but you cannot buy it back.

    One of the messages in Aleph is that what we do now affects our future. Was there a pivotal moment when you knew that the way you chose to act would determine the course of your future?

    Every single moment in life is a pivotal moment. Every day has a moment where you can change everything-the problem is that we are scared to recognise this moment.

    Can you explain the concept of the “Aleph”?

    Aleph is NOW. The present moment, holding all the past and the future consequences.

    In Aleph your routine was diminishing your sense of purpose. For most people routine is unavoidable. How can they prevent their routine from consuming their destiny?

    Routine is not unavoidable. When we are enthusiastic about life, we strive to become better than we are. And so we become.
    The above is my favourite part. Sometimes I follow your advice, and cant complain…you are right. Cant wait to read Aleph, you said will be in library in september in my country(Romania)…but almost October now…bit of a delay. I know is not up to you, publishing houses do that.
    Wishing you all the best, regards

  49. Appu says:

    The best: individual queries are solved when your said words are read. Thanks for sharing.