Thursday, February 7, 2019

Best-Selling Books of All-Time: Top 100

Updated 2/7/2019.

image from digbooks.net

While it would seemingly be an easy task to find a list of the top-selling books of all-time, there are multiple sources and varying estimates. By assembling a variety of sources, here’s what I’ve come up with as the list of the best-selling books of all-time (see sources here).

Note: with the exception of Lord of the Rings (which was intended as one book, but published in three parts), series are not included. However, individual titles can make the list. For example, the Harry Potter series collectively sold 500 million copies, but is listed by individual titles since all 7 books made the list on their own accord.

There are also numerous cases of books, especially references and religious texts, where they have been reprinted and reproduced in multiple editions. The first year of publication is the one cited.

When multiple titles are estimated to have sold the same amount, the books are listed in order of which have the most overall points in my database.

Enough talk. Here are the results:


  1. 6.7 billion: various writers The Holy Bible: King James Version (1451)
  2. 6.5 billion: Mao Zedong Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung (1966)
  3. 800 million: Muhammad Quran (632 A.D.)
  4. 500 million: Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote (1615)
  5. 400 million: Wei Jiangong (editor) Xinhua Zidian/Xinhua Dictionary (1957)
  6. 200 million: Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
  7. 150 million: J.R.R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings (1954-1955)
  8. 150 million: Robert Baden-Powell Scouting for Boys (1908)
  9. 142 million: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince) (1943)
  10. 140.6 million: J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit (1937)

  11. 125 million: John Bunyan The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678)
  12. 125 million: John Foxe Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (1563)
  13. 125 million: Thomas Cranmer The Book of Common Prayer (1549)
  14. 123 million: Joseph Smith The Book of Mormon (1830)
  15. 120 million: J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (aka Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) (1997)
  16. 120 million: Jehovahs’ Witnesses The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life (1982)
  17. 115 million: Mark C. Young The Guinness Book of Records (1955)
  18. 105 million: Jehovah’s Witnesses You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth (1982)
  19. 100 million: Lewis Carroll Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865)
  20. 100 million: Agatha Christie And Then There Were None (1939)

  21. 100 million: Ts’ao Hsueh-ch’in The Dream of the Red Chamber (1791)
  22. 100 million: Noah Webster The American Spelling Book/Webster’s Dictionary (1783)
  23. 100 million: H. Rider Haggard She: A History of Adventure (1887)
  24. 85 million: C.S. Lewis The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1950)
  25. 80 million: Dan Brown The Da Vinci Code (2004)
  26. 80 million: Carlo Collodi The Adventures of Pinocchio (1881)
  27. 80 million: World Almanac editors World Almanac (1868)
  28. 80 million: Ved Prakash Sharma Vardi Wala Gunda (1992)
  29. 79 million: Kazuko Hosoki Rokusei Senjutsu (Six-Star Astrology Tells Your Fortune) (1986)
  30. 77 million: J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)
  31. 70 million: Napoleon Hill Think and Grow Rich (1937)

    65 million:

  32. J.D. Salinger The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
  33. Paulo Coelho O Alquimista (The Alchemist) (1987)
  34. J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)
  35. J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000)
  36. J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007)
  37. J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003)
  38. J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005)

    60 million:

  39. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1887)
  40. Jules Verne Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870)
  41. Robert James Waller The Bridges of Madison County (1992)
  42. Ellen G. White Steps to Christ (1892)

    50-55 million:

  43. Merriam-Webster Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (1898)
  44. Vladimir Nabokov Lolita (1955)
  45. Gabriel García Márquez One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967)
  46. E.B. White Charlotte’s Web (1952)
  47. L.M. Montgomery Anne of Green Gables (1908)
  48. Richard Adams Watership Down (1972)
  49. Umberto Eco The Name of the Rose (Il Nome della Rosa) (1980)
  50. Dr. Benjamin Spock The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care (1946)

  51. Anna Sewell Black Beauty (1877)
  52. Johanna Spyri Heidi (Heidi's Years of Wandering and Learning) (Heidis Lehr - und Wnaderjahre) (1880)
  53. Lew Wallace Ben-Hur (1880)
  54. J.P. Donleavy The Ginger Man (1955)
  55. Shere Hite The Hite Report on Female Sexuality (1976)
  56. Louise Hay You Can Heal Your Life (1984)
  57. Jack Higgins The Eagle Has Landed (1975)
  58. Johnston McCulley The Curse of Capistrano (aka “The Mark of Zorro”) (1919)

    40-45 million:

  59. Homer The Odyssey (800 B.C.)
  60. Beatrix Potter The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1901)
  61. Richard Bach Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1970)
  62. Eric Carle The Very Hungry Caterpillar (1969)
  63. Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)
  64. E.L. James Fifty Shades of Grey (2011)
  65. Elbert Hubbard A Message to Garcia (1899)
  66. V.C. Andrews Flowers in the Attic (1979)
  67. Jostein Gaardner Sophie’s World (Sofies Verden) (1991)
  68. Hong Sung-Dae The Principle of Mathematics (1966)
  69. Peter Mark Roget Roget’s Thesaurus (1852)

    36-39 million:

  70. Dan Brown Angels and Demons (2000)
  71. Jeffrey Archer Kane and Abel (1979)
  72. Nikolai Ostrovsky How the Steel Was Tempered (Kak Zaalyalas' stal) (1932)
  73. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace (1869)

    32-35 million:

  74. Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl (aka The Diary of Anne Frank) (1947)
  75. Hal Lindsey and C.C. Carlson The Late Great Planet Earth (1970)
  76. Wayne Dyer Your Erroneous Zones (1976)
  77. Margaret Mitchell Gone with the Wind (1936)
  78. Colleen McCullough The Thorn Birds (1977)
  79. Khaled Hosseini The Kite Runner (2003)
  80. Jacqueline Susann The Valley of the Dolls (1966)

    30 million:

  81. George Orwell 1984 (1949)
  82. Oxford University Press The Oxford English Dictionary (1948)
  83. Stieg Larsson The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2005)
  84. Reverend Charles Monroe Sheldon In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do? (1896)
  85. Bill Wilson Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book (1939)
  86. Rick Warren The Purpose Driven Life (2002)
  87. William Bradford Huie The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1951)
  88. various authors The Michelin Guide: France (1900)
  89. Dan Brown The Lost Symbol (2009)

    25-26 million:

  90. Spencer Johnson Who Moved My Cheese? (1998)
  91. Alexander Alexandrovich Fadeyev The Young Guard (1945)
  92. F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby (1925)
  93. Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged (1957)
  94. William Grahame The Wind in the Willows (1908)
  95. Stephen R. Covey The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1989)

    22-24 million:

  96. Mikhail Sholokhov Virgin Soil Upturned (1935)
  97. Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games (2008)
  98. John Green The Fault in Our Stars (2012)
  99. James Refield The Celestine Prophecy (1993)
  100. William P. Young The Shack (2007)

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