What is happiness?

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This is a question that has not bothered me for a long time, precisely because I don’t know how to answer it.

Some people seem to be happy: they just do not think about it. Others make plans: “I’m going to have a husband, a home, two children, and a house in the country”. While this keeps them occupied, they are like bulls looking for the bullfighter: they don’t think, they just keep moving forward. They manage to get their car – sometimes even a Ferrari – and they think that the meaning of life lies there, so they never ask the question. Yet, despite all that, their eyes betray a sadness that they themselves are quite unaware of.

I don’t know if everyone is unhappy. I do know that people are always busy: working overtime, looking after the kids, the husband, the career, the university degree, what to do tomorrow, what they need to buy, whatever it is they need to have in order not to feel inferior, and so on.

Few people have ever told me: “I’m unhappy”. Most say: “I’m fine, I’ve managed to get all I ever wanted”.

So then I ask: “What makes you happy?”

They answer: “I have everything that a person can dream of – a family, a home, work, good health”.

I insist: “So the meaning of life is work, the family, children who grow up and leave you, a wife or husband who will become more like a friend than a true love-mate. And one day the work will come to an end. What will you do when that happens?”

They answer: there is no answer. They change the subject.

World Book Night 2013 (USA)

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if you live in USA, you can give away The Alchemist (English and Espanol) for free.
All authors who have their books in the list waived their royalties.
Below a short explanation from Carl, the organizer:

Hello, World Book Night friends:

The fun is beginning: The WBN 2013 book picks are official and the giver applications have opened!
I am really excited about the selection of books for World Book Night 2013, and I know you’ll be pleased with them, too. As I said in our press release today: “This isn’t a best-books-of-all-time list; these are contemporary or classic books that appeal to a wide range of new readers. We looked for diversity and variety in all things: subject matter, age level, gender, as well as ethnic and geographic considerations. Last year’s givers also got to nominate books. This is a beautiful mix with, I hope, some old friends and nice surprises! We believe that the wide range of books being offered will appeal to our volunteer book givers and, in turn, to a half million new readers.”

To see the 2013 books, please visit our Books page.

We’ve also opened the giver applications, and I have good news for you. The application process will be open until January, so you have plenty of time to read up on the books and think about where you want to personally hand out your 20 copies before you apply. I recommend you check out the Application Guidelines in advance as well. It’s a great resource and will help make the whole process a lot easier for you.

If you want to give away books to celebrate the event, follow this link to apply to be a book giver