List of best-selling books

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The frontispiece to the 1611 first edition of the King James Bible
This page provides lists of best-selling single-volume books, book series, authors, and children's books of all time and in any language. For some books, accurate accounting has proven impossible, so the book is excluded or an educated guess by an expert is provided. "Best-selling" refers to the estimated number of copies sold of each book, rather than the number of books printed or currently owned.

List of best-selling single-volume books

No. Book Author(s) Original language First published Approximate sales
1Holy Bible (actual title); or commonly The Bible[1]Traditional Judaeo-Christian view: Revelation by God[2] to Moses, David, Joshua, Samuel, Jeremiah, Ezra, Nehemiah, Solomon, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Malachi, Mordecai, Nathan, Amos, Daniel, Hosea, Asaph the Levite, Korah, Joel, Obadiah, Gad, Haggai, Jonah, Ethan, Herman, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Zechariah, Matthew, Luke, John, Mark, Peter, Paul, James, Jude, Barnabas, Apollos, Silas, TertiusHebrew, Aramaic, Greek~3000 B.C. - ~200 A.D. [3]5 to 6 Billion
2毛主席语录 Máo-zhǔxí yǔlù (Quotations from Chairman Mao)Quotations from Mao Zedong; collected by the PLA Daily of the People's Liberation Army and signed by Lin BiaoChinese1966900 million
3القرآن ‎(The Qur'an)Traditional Islamic view: Revelation by Allah[4] to Prophet MuhammadArabic~610 - ~633800 million
4El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (Don Quixote)Miguel de Cervantes SaavedraSpanish1605
5新华字典 (Xinhua Zidian) (Xinhua Dictionary) Chief editor: Chinese1957400 million
6Book of Common Prayer Thomas CranmerEnglish1549 -
7The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come John BunyanEnglish1678 -
8Foxe's Book of Martyrs or Actes and Monuments of these Latter and Perillous Days, touching Matters of the Church John FoxeEnglish1563 -
9Book of MormonTraditional Mormon view: compilation by Mormon (prophet)[5], revealed to Joseph Smith, Jr.English1830 -120 million
10Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ("...Sorcerer's Stone" in US) J.K. RowlingEnglish1997110 million
11And Then There Were None Agatha ChristieEnglish1939 -110 million
12The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. TolkienEnglish1954/1955 -100 million
13Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets J.K. RowlingEnglish199877 million
14Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire J.K. RowlingEnglish200066 million
15Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince J.K. RowlingEnglish200565 million
16The Da Vinci Code Dan BrownEnglish200364 million
17The Catcher in the Rye J. D. SalingerEnglish195165 million
18Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban J.K. RowlingEnglish199960 million
19Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix J.K. RowlingEnglish200358 million
20Heidis Lehr- und Wanderjahre (Heidi's Years of Wandering and Learning) Johanna SpyriGerman188052 million
21King Solomon's Mines Henry Rider HaggardEnglish188550 million
22 Lew WallaceEnglish188050 million
23The Curse of Capistrano (The Mark of Zorro) Johnston McCulleyEnglish192050 million
24Le Petit Prince (''The Little Prince") Antoine de Saint-ExupéryFrench194350 million
25The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care Dr. Benjamin SpockEnglish194650 million
26O Alquimista (The Alchemist) Paulo CoelhoPortuguese198850 million
27How to Win Friends and Influence People Dale CarnegieEnglish193650 million
28Charlotte's Web E.B. White; illustrated by Garth WilliamsEnglish195245 million
29The Tale of Peter Rabbit Beatrix PotterEnglish190245 million
30Jonathan Livingston Seagull Richard BachEnglish197040 million
31A Message to Garcia Elbert HubbardEnglish189940 million
32Cien Años de Soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude) Gabriel García MárquezSpanish196736 million
33The Late, Great Planet Earth Hal Lindsey, C. C. CarlsonEnglish197035 million
34Your Erroneous Zones Wayne W. DyerEnglish197634 million
35Westminster Shorter Catechism Church of ScotlandEnglish1647
36In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do? Charles M. SheldonEnglish189630 million
37Think and Grow Rich Napoleon HillEnglish191830 million
38Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary A. S. HornbyEnglish194830 million
39To Kill a Mockingbird Harper LeeEnglish196030 million
40Valley of the Dolls Jacqueline SusannEnglish196630 million
41The Thorn Birds Colleen McCulloughEnglish197730 million
42 William J. BennettEnglish199330 million
43Daily Light on the Daily Path Jonathan and Samuel BagsterEnglish1875
44My Utmost for His Highest Oswald ChambersEnglish1935
45Gone with the Wind Margaret MitchellEnglish193628 million
46Uncle Tom's Cabin Harriet Beecher StoweEnglish185228 million
47Pride and Prejudice Jane AustenEnglish181328 million
48Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows [6] J.K. RowlingEnglish2007~20-25 million[1][2][3]


1. ^ The Bible listed here refers to all the various versions made throughout time. Additionally, many of them are given away freely (for example, during missionary work).
2. ^ The Holy Bible is controversial regarding authorship. While many claim it to be in fact a holy book of divine inspiration, secular critics and some biblical scholars do not accept supernatural guidance or authorship. Secular Biblical scholars usually place a creation date closer to 900 B.C. for the earliest texts. Conservative Biblical scholars place the earliest date around 1400 B.C.
3. ^ Unlike other entries, this refers to the date that various "books" of the Bible were written.
4. ^ The Qu'ran is controversial regarding authorship. While traditional views claim divine inspiration, secular critics or those of different faith traditions do not accept supernatural guidance or authorship but instead credit Muhammad and others with authorship.
5. ^ The Book of Mormon is controversial regarding authorship. While traditional views of the religion claim divine inspiration, secular critics or those of different faith traditions do not accept supernatural guidance to its discovery or authorship by ancient prophets, but instead credit Joseph Smith with authorship.
6. ^ An early press report claimed that more than 72 million copies of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" had been sold within the first 48 hours of publication (see linked citation [1] in table above). However, there has never been any evidence provided for this claim beyond the original source. All follow-up sales figures (for instance, those discussed on the separate entry for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows") are consistent with total sales figures well below 30 million to date. For example, according to Scholastic publishers, there are only 14 million copies of the American edition currently in print, and not all have been sold (see citation [2] above). At the same time, sales of the American edition were originally reported to be comparable to or greater than the number of copies sold of the British edition. As of September 18, 2007, fewer than 4 million copies of the British edition had been sold in the UK along with a comparable number sold in other countries (citation [3]). Thus the total number of copies sold as of September 2007 appears to be approximately 20-25 million.
7. ^ [4]
8. ^ [5]
  • This list was originally compiled in 1997, and has been updated using the sources shown, and others, including the articles on each title. The Qur'an has been copied or printed since the 7th century CE and the number of copies presumably numbers billions. The figure of six billion Bibles is also an estimate.
  • The Lord of the Rings is considered by most people to be a single book, because it was written and planned by the author to be such. Some people consider it to instead be a trilogy or series of three books, because it was originally published as a series of three volumes: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. This move by the publishing house was due largely to post-war paper shortages as well as to minimize the price of the first volume to aid sales. In subsequent printings the book has sometimes appeared as a single volume, and in at least one case was split into seven. The figure of 100 million is a low estimate of copies of the full story sold, whether published as one volume, three, or some other configuration.
  • "Quotations from Chairman Mao" was made mandatory for all people living in China during Mao Zedong's rule, and the fear of police beating (which often took place, as all people were required to carry a copy at all times) only compounded the issue.

List of best-selling book series

No. Book Author Original language No. of installments First published Approximate sales
1Perry Rhodanvarious authorsGermanover 2,3501961Present1 billion
2Star Warsvarious authorsEnglishover 2001977Present750 million
3Harry PotterJ. K. RowlingEnglish719972007at least 512 million (According to list above)
4The New Park Street Pulpit and The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Penny SermonsCharles Haddon SpurgeonEnglish3,5611854Presentover 300 million
5GoosebumpsR. L. StineEnglish6219921998300 million
6Choose Your Own Adventurevarious authorsEnglish18519791998250 million
7NoddyEnid BlytonEnglish241949 -200 million
8Nancy DrewCarolyn KeeneEnglish1751930Present200 million
9Peter RabbitBeatrix PotterEnglish61902 - 1930150 million
10Dirk PittClive CusslerEnglish191973Present120 million
11宮本武蔵 (Musashi)Eiji YoshikawaJapanese71935 - 1939120 million
12Clifford the Big Red DogNorman BridwellEnglish1963Present110 million
13Chicken Soup for the SoulJack Canfield and Mark Victor HansenEnglishover 1051997Present100 million
14Mr. MenRoger Hargreaves, Adam HargreavesEnglish431971Present100 million
15Guinness World Records (published every year)various authorsEnglish521955Present100 million
16The Chronicles of NarniaC. S. LewisEnglish71949 - 1954100 million
17American Spelling Book (Webster's Dictionary)Noah WebsterEnglish1783100 million
18The Railway Series (Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends)W.V. Awdry,Christopher AwdryEnglish1945 - 199690 million
19Nijntje (Miffy)Dick BrunaDutch1955Present85 million
20Gospel Hymn SeriesIra D. SankeyEnglish18751891over 80 million
21World Almanac (published every year)various authorsEnglish1211868Present80 million
22六星占術によるあなたの運命 (Rokusei Senjutsu(Six-Star Astrology) Tells Your Fortune)Kazuko HosokiJapanese1461986Presentover 70 million
23Winnie-the-PoohA. A. Milne; illustrated by E. H. ShepardEnglish41926 - 192870 million
24Left BehindTim LaHaye, Jerry B. JenkinsEnglish161996Present63 million
25Star Trekvarious authorsEnglish1966Present60 million
26The McGuffey ReadersWilliam Holmes McGuffeyEnglish185360 million
27Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate EventsDaniel HandlerEnglish131999 - 200655 million
28Dragonlancevarious authorsEnglishover 1501984Present50 million
29アンパンマン (Anpanman)Takashi YanaseJapaneseover 6781970Present50 million
30AngéliqueAnne Golon (Sergeanne Golon)French151956 - 198550 million
30Sherlock HolmesSir Arthur Conan DoyleEnglish9


There are great differences between the number of the books published in each series. For example, although the Perry Rhodan series and the Star Wars series have each sold more books than the Harry Potter series or The Chronicles of Narnia, they also have had more individual books published in their series. The Perry Rhodan series has released over 2,350 books and the Star Wars series has released over two hundred, but the Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia series have only seven each. Thus, the Harry Potter series has over 70 million copies sold for every book, while the Perry Rhodan series has sold less than half a million per book, and the Star Wars series has sold just over three million per book.

Best-selling authors

  • William Shakespeare's collective works have been conservatively estimated at having sold 4 billion copies.
  • Agatha Christie: it is estimated that one billion copies of her novels have been sold in English, and another billion in 103 other languages.[7]
  • Jin Yong: The pen name of Chinese author Louis Cha, has sold one billion copies.
  • Mao Zedong's book of quotations has sold about 900 million copies.
  • Danielle Steel has sold more than 550 million copies of her novels.
  • J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series have sold an estimated 512 million copies combined in just 10 years. It is the third best-selling book series in history.
  • Enid Blyton's books have sold more than 400 million copies worldwide and been translated into at least 90 languages. More than 300 of her titles are still in print and her books continue to sell in 2 million copies every year. The Noddy books have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide, making Noddy one of the most beloved and popular fictional characters ever.
  • Books featuring the work of cartoonist Charles Schulz have sold over 310 million copies.
  • Richard Scarry children's books (especially the Busytown series) have sold more than 300 million copies worldwide.

Best-selling children's books in the U.S. only (through the end of 2000)

According to Publishers Weekly, 2001 [8]


No. Book Author First published
1The Poky Little PuppyJanette Sebring Lowrey1942
2The Tale of Peter RabbitBeatrix Potter1902
3TootleGertrude Crampton1945
4Green Eggs and HamDr. Seuss1960
5Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireJ.K. Rowling2000
6Pat the BunnyDorothy Kunhardt1940
7Saggy Baggy ElephantKathryn and Byron Jackson1947
8Scuffy the TugboatGertrude Crampton1955
9The Cat in the HatDr. Seuss1957
10Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsJ.K. Rowling1999


No. Book Author First published
1Charlotte's WebE.B. White; illustrated by Garth Williams1952
2The OutsidersS.E. Hinton1968
3Tales of a Fourth Grade NothingJudy Blume1976
4Love You ForeverRobert Munsch; illustrated by Sheila McGraw1986
5Where the Red Fern GrowsWilson Rawls1973
6Island of the Blue DolphinsScott O'Dell1960
7Harry Potter and the Philosopher's StoneJ.K. Rowling1997
8Are You There, God? It's Me, MargaretJudy Blume1972
9ShaneJack Schaefer1949
10The Indian in the CupboardSean Brennan1982

Regularly updated lists of best-selling books

See also


  1. The Internet Public Library
  2. Ask Men's top ten bestseller list
  3. How 'Harry Potter' and 'The Rings' measure up
  4. managerSeminare

External links

Bible refers to the canonical collections of religious writings or books of Judaism and Christianity.

Bible may also refer to:
  • Bible (writing), a document with the canonical backstory of a fictional setting used to keep elements consistent
  • The Bible (band)

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Revelation is an uncovering or disclosure via communication from the divine of something that has been partially or wholly hidden or unknown, "which could not be known apart from the unveiling" (Goswiller 1987 p. 3).
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General approaches
Agnosticism Atheism
Deism Dystheism
Henotheism Ignosticism
Monism Monotheism
Natural theology Nontheism
Pandeism Panentheism
Pantheism Polytheism
Theism Theology

Specific conceptions
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Moses (Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה, Standard  
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David(c.1005–970 BC) (Hebrew: דָּוִד, Standard  
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Joshua, Jehoshuah, or Yehoshua (Hebrew: יְהוֹשֻׁעַ, Tiberian: jə.ho.ˈʃu.
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Samuel may refer to:
  • Samuel (Bible), seer and prophet
  • Book(s) of Samuel in the Bible
  • Samuel of Nehardea, Jewish Talmudist
  • Sam (name)
  • Samuel L. Jackson (born 1948), Actor
  • Adriana Samuel (born 1966), Brazilian volleyball player

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Jeremiah (Hebrew: יִרְמְיָהוּ, Standard  
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Ezra is a personal name derived from Hebrew, written variously as עֶזְרָא ( Standard Hebrew: ʿEzra, Tiberian Hebrew: ʿEzrâ), Arabic: 'Uzair (عزير), Turkish: Ãœzeyir.
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Nehemiah or Nechemya (נְחֶמְיָה
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Solomon (Hebrew: שְׁלֹמֹה, Standard  
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Isaiah (Hebrew: יְשַׁעְיָהוּ, Standard  
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Ezekiel, Hebrew: יחזקאל, Yehezkel, IPA: [jəx.
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Malachi or Mal'achi (Hebrew: מַלְאָכִי, Standard  
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Mordecai or Mordechai (Hebrew: מָרְדֳּכַי, Standard  
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Nathan the Prophet was a court prophet who lived in the time of King David and his wife Bathsheba. He once came to David to reprimand him over his committing adultery with Bathsheba while she was the wife of Uriah.
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Amos may refer to:


  • Amos (prophet), one of the twelve minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible
  • Book of Amos, his writings
  • Amos, son of Nephi and Amos, son of Amos, two minor figures in the Book of Mormon

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Daniel (Hebrew: דָּנִיֵּאל, Standard  
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Torah | Nevi'im | Ketuvim
Books of Nevi'im
First Prophets
1. Joshua
2. Judges
3. Samuel
4. Kings
Later Prophets
5. Isaiah
6. Jeremiah
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Asaph (Hebrew for "God has gathered") may refer to:
  • Asaph Hall, 19th century astronomer
  • Saint Asaph, first Bishop of the Diocese of Saint Asaph in Wales
  • The Diocese of Saint Asaph
  • St.

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Korah or Kórach (Hebrew: קֹרַח, Standard Qóraḥ Tiberian Qōraḥ; "Baldness; ice; hail; frost") Some older English translations spell the name Core
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Joel may refer to:
  • Joel (prophet), a Biblical prophet and the author of the Book of Joel
  • Joel (given name), origin of the name including a list of people with the given name
Joel is the surname of:

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Sarah Joseph Eli Elkanah Hannah Abigail Amoz Mordecai Esther (Baruch) Christianity:
Abel Enoch Daniel
Non-Jewish: Kenan Eber Bithiah
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Gad can refer to:
  • Gad, the pan-Semitic deity of fortune worshipped during the babylonian captivity
  • Gad Guard, a Japanese animated series
  • Tribe of Gad, a tribe of the ancient Kingdom of Israel

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For other people by this name, see Haggai (disambiguation).

Haggai (Hebrew: חַגַּי, Ḥaggay or "Hag-i") was one of the twelve minor prophets and the author of the Book of Haggai.
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Jonah (Hebrew: יוֹנָה, Standard  
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Ethan (אֵיתָן "Firm", Standard Hebrew Etan or Eitan, Tiberian Hebrew ʾÊṯān) the Ezrahite, is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. It may be that Ethan was a cymbal-player in King David's court.
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Herman is a Dutch and English given name. Its original meaning was "army man" and derives from the Germanic elements "heri" meaning "army" combined with "man" meaning "man" (compare archaic Dutch "heer", meaning "army" and "man").
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Micah (מִיכָה, Standard Hebrew Miḫa, Tiberian Hebrew Mîḵāh) is the name of several people in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), and means who is like God, possibly in the sense of unique''.
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For the British poet laureate, see Nahum Tate.

Nahum (נחום) was a minor prophet whose prophecy is recorded in the Hebrew Bible. His book comes in chronological order between Micah and Habakkuk in the Bible.
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