The most popular books in the world
We’ve just had World Book Day on 7 March and to celebrate, have you ever wondered what the best-selling books of all time are? If so take a guess and then read on.
We are not going to include the major religious books as they are often given away for free, so the bible with an estimated 5 billion copies doesn’t qualify and we have also excluded Chairman Mao Tse-tung’s little red book estimates for which vary between 800 million to over 6 billion copies.
At 20 is Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
At 19 we have our first non-fiction entry, The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care by Dr. Benjamin Spock (no, he’s not the one with the pointy ears in Star Trek!)
At 18 to 13 are the second to sixth volumes of the Harry Potter story by J. K. Rowling
At 12 is a book originally written in Italian, Le avventure di Pinocchio. Storia di un burattino or as we know it, The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
At 11 is the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown with sales of 80 million
Into the top10.
At number 10 is She: A History of Adventure by H. Rider Haggard
At 9 is the Hindi detective novel Vardi Wala Gunda by Ved Prakash Sharma
At 8, the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis
At 7, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll
At 6 is a family saga written in Chinese, Dream of The Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin
At 5 is And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
At 4 is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien with 100 Million sales
At 3 is J.K. Rowling again with the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone with 120 million sales
At 2 is a French children’s book, Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry with 140 million sales
And top of the list at number 1 with 150 million sales is……
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
So there we have it. Were you surprised that 4 of the top sellers were not originally written in English? Or that 12 of the entries could be described as children’s fiction (if you include the Harry Potter series)? It’s a contentious list as it omits some books such as A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas because the records of sales are not robust enough even though it is estimated that they might have sold 200 million copies.
We hope that you have enjoyed guessing the top 20 and congratulations if you got more than 10 correct.