World's Best-Selling Books of All Times

Penlighten Staff Sep 29, 2018
There are so many books in the world that are simply waiting to be read. As Frank Zappa rightly said, 'So many books, so little time'. So grab a copy of the genre that interests you and give it a read today! If the world does come to an end in the near future, you don't want your bucket list to be left half-done.
The Holy Bible, although widely reported as one the most-printed books of all times, has its exact sales figures disputed till date.
The approximate number of Bibles sold is believed to have crossed the 2-billion mark. The same goes with the Quran and Quotations from Chairman Mao, the other best selling books.

A Tale of Two Cities (200 million)

Charles Dickens is known for his great works, and A Tale of Two Cities is a fine example, which also ranks high as one the best-selling books around the world.
This historical novel is written during the time of the French Revolution, and is set against the backdrop of London, Paris, England, and France. The novel was first published in 1859, and it has been a bestseller for decades.

The Little Prince (200 million)

This story is about a little boy and a narration of his stories, which includes meeting a prince, and his homeland, an asteroid.
Written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, this novel also includes a series of drawings. Apart from being translated in over 250 languages, The Little Prince was first published in 1943.

The Lord of the Rings (150 million)

One of the bestsellers, The Lord of the Rings is a fantasy novel that consists of three parts. J.R.R. Tolkien began this work as a sequel to one of his earlier works, titled 'The Hobbit'. The Lord of the Rings has also been made successfully into a movie franchise - a total of 3 in number.

The Hobbit (100 million)

This fantasy novel is written by J.R.R. Tolkien for children. This book, a fairy tale, is full of dramatic scenes interspersed with poems. The book was even nominated for the Carnegie Medal.  First published in 1937, this fantasy novel also holds an award given by the New York Herald Tribune.

Dream of the Red Chamber (100 million)

Dream of the Red Chamber is an 18th century novel written by Cao Xueqin and the remaining 40 chapters are believed to have been written by Gao E. Originally written in Chinese it is considered as one of the masterpieces of the 18th century.  Although, Dream of the Red Chamber is an abridged version of the original work, the book has sold millions of copies.

And Then There Were None (100 million)

Agatha Christie has always been known for her detective fiction. And Then There Were None is known all over the world as one of the best-selling mystery books of all time. It has also been adapted for a play and a film. Since its first publication in 1939, the book has been very popular and has sold millions of copies worldwide.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (85 million)

This fantasy novel is written by C.S. Lewis in 1950. The novel, first of a series of seven novels, is set in the fictitious land of Narnia ruled by a white witch, and inhabited by animals that can talk. The author tells a story of how four English children accidentally visit this land upon finding its secret entrance from a wardrobe in their country house.

She (83 million)

Sold in 44 different languages, She: A History of Adventure, is one of the bestselling books of all time. Written by Sir Henry Rider Haggard, this fantasy-adventure classic shows the various racial concepts of British colonialism. Inspired by the author's experiences of his visit to Africa, the novel remains to be one the most popular books of all time.

The Da Vinci Code (80 million)

This book is one of author Dan Brown's best works. The Da Vinci Code is one of the most popular mystery novels. Despite being in the center of controversy, the novel is still selling extremely well. The Da Vinci Code was published in 2003, and was later been printed with special illustrations. There was also a film released with the same title.

The Catcher in the Rye (65 million)

The story revolves around the main character, Holden Caulfield. It further describes his life in New York City and the kind of experiences he had, marked with loneliness. This novel was written by J.D. Salinger, and was also amidst controversy over its depiction of profane ideas. The novel was first published in 1951.

Nonfiction

Think and Grow Rich (70 million)

This is a self-help book written by Napoleon Hill, and published in 1937. The author explains the philosophy that can be applied to succeed in life, be it any profession. This book is a good read for people across all age groups and walks of life.

The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care (50 million)

Written by Benjamin Spock, and commonly known as Baby and Child Care, this book was first published on July 14, 1946. As the name suggests, the book gives an insight into the world of parenting and tips to make even the everyday chores for the parents of infants, easier.

A Message to Garcia (40 million)

A Message to Garcia is a motivational essay written by Elbert Hubbard, in the year 1899. Translated into 37 languages, this book has also been adapted into two motion pictures.

You Can Heal Your Life (35 million)

Written by Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life is a personal account of how she successfully fought cancer, and realized that if you are determined enough, you can heal your own body. This self-help book has encouraged a lot of readers to think positively, and approach the hardships in life with an optimistic zeal.

The Purpose Driven Life (30 million)

Author Rick Warren, in his book The Purpose Driven Life, takes the reader on a 40-day spiritual journey, explaining God's reasons for the existence of human life on Earth. This motivational book has 40 chapters, providing passages of inspiration on a daily basis.

Who Moved My Cheese? (26 million)

Who Moved My Cheese is a self-help motivational book by Dr. Spencer Johnson and was first published in 1998. Through the protagonists in the form of two mice and two 'little people', the book talks about how a common man deals with change in both work and personal life. This book is considered to be one of the most popular business books around.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (25 million)

First published in 1989, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is written by Stephen R. Covey. He provides the reader with a practical and an ethical approach in order to overcome all personal and professional obstacles. The book has been translated into 38 languages.

What to Expect When You're Expecting (20 million)

This book is a stepwise pregnancy guide, right from the time a woman shows early signs of pregnancy till the postpartum period. Authors Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel give solutions to all the problems mothers face during each month of pregnancy, in a question-and-answer pattern. This useful book was first published in 1984.

The Secret (19 million)

Positive thinking does, in fact, change your life, and this what Rhonda Byrne conveys through her book, The Secret. The law of attraction, as stated in the book, is that 'like attracts like'.
If you govern yourself with positive thoughts, only then positive events will take place in your life. Though it was widely criticized for the lack of scientific background for all its assertions, this book became very popular and sold millions of copies worldwide.

How to Win Friends and Influence People (15 million)

A Simon and Schuster publication (1936), How to Win Friends and Influence People is written by Dale Carnegie, and is one of the best-selling self-help books one can find. The books tells its readers how to make the people around you feel appreciated in the right sense, and thus, spread positivity around you.

Although bestsellers, the extended list of best-selling books which did not make it to the top 10

Fiction

•The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho (65 million)
•Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov (50 million)
•Heidi - Johanna Spyri (50 million)
•Anne of Green Gables- Lucy Maud Montgomery (50 million)
•Black Beauty - Anna Sewell (50 million)

Nonfiction

•Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Albom (14 million)
•Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl (12 million)
•A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking (10 million)
•The Joy of Sex - Alex Comfort (10 million)
•The Dukan Diet - Pierre Dukan (10 million)