The 29 Best Selling Books in History of Selling Books

Toni Koraza

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Bestsellers are pageturners people can't let out of their hands, and dearly recommend to friends and family.

New York Times bestseller list serves as a badge of honor for writers, and a guideline for new readers. Not every bestseller is worth reading, but these books are relevant to the world as they sell millions of copies.

Statisticians can’t precisely count the exact number of sold units throughout history, but you might get a ballpark number of what’s relevant.

Fantasy ranks as the most favorable genre with 12 titles on the list out of 29 in total. Guinness World Records lists the Bible as the all-time bestseller with an estimated 5 billion copies in circulation. Textbooks are not on this list.

  1. The Bible by various authors (Religious texts: ~5 billion copies)
  2. Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung by Mao Tse-tung (Political text: ~1 billion copies)
  3. Quran by various authors (Religious text:~800 million)
  4. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (Historical fiction:~500 million copies)
  5. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (Historical fiction: ~200 million copies )
  6. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (
    Fantasy:~150 million copies)
  7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (Fantasy:~107 million copies)
  8. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (Mystery: ~100 million copies)
  9. The Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin (
    Family saga:~100 million copies)
  10. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (Fantasy:~100 million copies)
  11. She: A History of Adventure by H. Rider Haggard (Adventure:~100 million copies)
  12. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (Fantasy: ~85 million copies)
  13. The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi (Fantasy:~84 million copies)
  14. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (Mystery thriller: ~80 million copies)
  15. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (Self-improvement: ~70 million copies)
  16. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (Fantasy:~65 million copies)
  17. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (Coming-of-age: ~65 million copies)
  18. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (Fantasy: ~65 million copies)
  19. The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller (Romance: ~60 million copies)
  20. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (Fantasy:~60 million copies)
  21. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (Fantasy:~55 million copies)
  22. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (Fantasy:~55 million copies)
  23. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (Fantasy:~55 million copies)
  24. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (Fantasy:~50 million copies)
  25. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Marquez (Magic realism: ~50 million copies)
  26. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace (Historical: ~50 million copies)
  27. You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay (Self-improvement:~50 million copies)
  28. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (General: ~50 million copies)
  29. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery (General: ~50 million copies)

How many books have you read from the list?

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Curious Fellow | Founder at Mad Company, and MadX.Digital | Writes about Current Events, Lifestyle, and Money |

Miami, FL
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