The 10 Bestselling books of all time

Books are one of mankind’s oldest forms of entertainment. Even with the arrival of movies and television, an estimated average of 705 million books were sold each year between 2004 and 2022. Additionally, an estimated 4 million new titles are published every year. With this many books on the shelves, have you ever wondered which books have sold the most copies, ever? Well, we’ve got the answer for you. Here are the top ten bestselling books of all time.

10 Dream of the Red Chamber by Cáo Xuěqín  

Written in 1791, Dream of the Red Chamber is one of China’s four great classic novels and has sold more than 100-million copies. Scholars believe the story is based on the author’s life – as well as those of the people around him – and includes an incredibly large cast of more than 400 characters; each of whom provide a unique insight into 18th-century Chinese society.

Want to read it? Get it here.

9 The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

As arguably the world’s greatest fantasy author, it’s no surprise that Tolkien’s The Hobbit makes this list. With more than 100-million copies sold worldwide, this prequel to The Lord of the Rings is a must have for any fantasy enthusiast. Interestingly, Tolkien wrote this story for his children but over the years the title has blossomed into a household name.

Want to read it? Get it here.

8 And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie 

What happens when ten strangers arrive at a millionaire’s mansion for dinner but end up being slowly murdered one by one? You get the classic 1939 mystery And Then There Were None which sold more than 100 million copies. Toss in creepy nursery rhymes, an unescapable island, and a twist you won’t see coming and it’s easy to see why this story continues to sell off the shelves.

Want to read it? Get it here.

7 Scouting for Boys by Robert Baden-Powell

This is the first (and could be argued by some as the only) nonfiction book on this list. Scouting for Boys was published in 1908 and has sold more than 100-million copies worldwide. The book was written as a handbook of practical advice and leadership skills used in training for the Boy Scouts. The book also includes autobiographical stories from the former British General to accompany the basics of outdoor survival.

Want to read it? Get it here.

6 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling 

Although J.K. Rowling has tarnished her brand in recent years thanks to some unfavorable comments she made online, it’s impossible to neglect the impact she’s made on Young Adult readers. With more than 120 million copies sold, The Sorcerer’s Stone (Also known as The Philosopher’s Stone) is the first in a series which has become one of the largest IPs in history, branching out into movies, video games, toys, and more.

Want to read it? Get it here.

5 Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 

Le Petite Prince or, The Little Prince, is a beloved French children’s book that’s sold more than 140 million copies and translated into more than 300 languages since it was published in 1943. The story follows a prince on a journey to find a safe place to hide his favorite flower, tying in elements of fantasy to tell an emotional tale about life’s greatest lessons.

Want to read it? Get it here.

4 The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Similar to Harry Potter, Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings saga has been transformed into movies and been the basis for numerous video games, fan fiction, and toy franchises. The first installment of Frodo Baggin’s epic journey to deliver the One Ring to Mordor has sold more than 150 million copies. And, as arguably one of the biggest influencers in the fantasy genre, those numbers will undoubtedly continue to rise.

Want to read it? Get it here.

3 A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickins 

This book was originally published in 31 weekly installments in Dickins’ periodical, All the Year Round. With more than 200 million copies sold, A Tale of Two Cities is easily one of Dickins’ most successful pieces of work. Set before and during the French Revolution, the story of Dr. Manette has been adapted to film, radio, television, and the stage, helping it remain a consistent influence on popular culture.

Want to read it? Get it here.

2 Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes

If you haven’t read this 1605 Masterpiece, you may not understand why it’s the second most sold book in the world. Considered the first modern novel, Don Quixote has been translated into more than 140 languages and helped cement the modern Spanish language. Because of its popularity and the theme’s continued relevance, more than 500 million copies have been sold since its release.

Want to read it? Get it here.

1 The Bible 

It may not be a surprise that the leading text for the Christian Faith is number one. What may surprise you is that the difference in sales between The Bible and Don Quixote is no small measurement. With more than five billion copies sold, The Bible is by far the most sold book in the world. But what about other religious texts? Why are they not on the list? Well, what sets The Bible apart is its translations. As of 2022, at least one part of the book has been translated into 3,589 languages. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know there were that many languages.

Want to read it? Get it here.

And those are the ten bestselling books of all time. How many of these have you read? Let us know in the comments!


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