A man knocked at his friend’s door to ask him a favor:
“I want you to lend me four thousand dinars because I have a debt to pay. Can you do that for me?”
The friend asked his wife to gather together everything they had of value, but even so it was not enough. They had to go out and borrow money from the neighbors until they managed to get the full amount.
When the man left, the woman noticed that her husband was crying.
“Why are you sad? Now that we’ve got ourselves in debt with our neighbors, are you afraid we won’t be able to repay them?”
“Nothing of the sort! I’m crying because he is someone I like so much, but even so I had no idea he was in need. I only remembered him when he had to knock on my door to ask me for a loan.”
Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian author who has sold more than 100 million books, which include 14 short story collections and the novel “The Alchemist.” He has been a fan of the Internet since the early 1990s. He spends at least three hours a day online, writing e-mails back and forth with his readers and posting photos on Flickr, MySpace and a blog.
Coelho’s online activities also include promoting pirated copies of his own books. Since 2005 he’s been directing his readers to an online site where they can download his books, in languages from German to Japanese, for free. “I always thought that when, at the beginning of your career, you strive to be read, you can’t change your mind later and become greedy about it.”