Here’s a concise list of the best selling books of all time. The following is a list of the bestseller single volume books of all time, according to Wikipedia.
A bestseller or best-selling book refers to the number of copies sold – not the number of copies printed. Also, the list does not differentiate between different languages of the same book. The list excludes comics or textbooks as they are not proper books. Moreover, the list excludes the Bible, the Qur’an, the Gita, the Communist Manifesto and Quotations from Chairman Mao which are all reported as the most distributed books in the world, but there are no exact figures as some of these books are printed over centuries and by different sources
1. A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens – The best seller of all time was first published in 1859 and since sold around 200 million copies!
2. The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien – First published in 1954, the book has already sold 150 million copies! Tolkien is the only author that has 2 titles in this list. The book is sometimes sold in volumes – mostly 3 volumes (as in the original publication) but it is known to be sold in as many as 7 volumes! The figure 150 million refers to copies of the complete story sold
3. The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exup?ry – The Little Prince is the first title in this list that its original language is not English. The manuscript was originally in French, though the first publication of the story was in English, in 1943. It since sold 140 million copies
4. And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie – Agatha Christie is the first female writer in this list. Her masterpiece was first published in 1939 and since sold some 100 million copies
5. Dream of the Red Chamber, by Cao Xueqin – The oldest book in this list was first published in 1791, and since sold 100 million copies. It is the only book in the list which first publication was not in English (it was in Chinese)
6. The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien – The Hobbit by Tolkien sold 100 million copies since it’s first publication in 1937. Not as successful as Tolkien’s other title on the list, but good enough
7. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis – 85 million copies sold since 1950
8. She: A History of Adventure, by H. Rider Haggard – 83 million copies since 1887
9. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown – the phenomenal success of Dan Brown’s book is remarkable – it was published only in 2003 and already sold 80 million copies!
10. Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill – 70 million copies sold since 1937