I read it in two days. I do love a quest, and the protagonist of this book is on quite the quest. He's an Andalusian shepherd boy and I experienced his journey, his highs and lows, his passions, and his joy along with him. He's way more mature than I am, though. He has a sense of self that never seems inflated; he takes a noble journey without setting out to change the world. All of it and none of it is about him.
We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it's our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand.
The Alchemist is a very spiritual book but it is never preachy - or so it seems to me. It might be interpreted differently by one who has rejected religion and/or spirituality of any sort. Yet the questions are universal and so I think even someone who disagrees with the main premise (see above quotation) will find merit in the boy's quest.
The author has a video on Amazon about this book - he enjoys reading the reviews!