What Are Some of the Top Selling Books of All Time?


Quick Answer

Records show that the best-selling book is "Don Quixote," at more than 500 million copies. In 1612, Miguel de Cervantes first told the story of a self-proclaimed Spanish knight who journeyed to help those in need. Millions or even billions of religious books such as the Bible, Quran and "Book of Mormon" have been circulated, but reliable sales figures are not available because the texts are often given away for free.

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Full Answer

A Chinese language dictionary, Xinhua Zidian, has sold more than 400 million copies. First published in 1953, it has become the standard dictionary in Chinese schools. Charles Dickens' 1859 novel, "A Tale of Two Cities," comes in third with 200 million in sales. The book, which covers class struggles and the French Revolution, has moved to the public domain.

"The Lord of the Rings" trilogy is next with 150 million copies sold. For sales purposes, the set of books is often considered one volume, because J.R.R. Tolkien wrote it as such, and they are often package that way. First published in 1954, the fantasy books portray an epic struggle between good and evil.

J.K. Rowling's 1997 book, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" has sold over 107 million copies. This is the first in the popular seven-book fantasy series that lead to highly successful movies.

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