The Best Selling Books of All Time

In case you need a new read, here's a list of the best selling books of all time, including fiction and nonfiction best sellers. What are the best selling books of all time? Since religious and political books, such as The Holy Bible, are often given away for free, they have not been included on this list. These top selling books of all time span multiple centuries, covering many genres (like horror and romance), writers, and original languages. And if you think Harry Potter or Twilight top this list, think again, they're not even close. What books sell the most? That said, the most popular books are indeed novels, with the most popular published volumes going through multiple editions and reprints. What are the best selling books in history? A few nonfiction texts can also be found, but they are few and far between. If one enjoys reading, these are the best sellers of all bestsellers, as well as the answer to the question "what are the best selling books of all time?"

If you like this best seller book list, be sure to check out Ranker's other lists like the 100 Books with the Catchiest First Lines.

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    • First Published: 1947
    • Subjects: Netherlands in World War II, Otto Frank, World War II, Hannah Pik-Goslar, Sol Kimel
    • Genres (Book): Children's literature, Biography, Autobiography, High fantasy
    • Original Language: Dutch Language

    Copies Sold: 35 million

    The Diary of a Young Girl is a book of the writings from the Dutch language diary kept by Anne Frank while she was in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the ...more
  • Kane and Abel
    32
    Jeffrey Archer
    • First Published: 1979
    • Subjects: Adventure
    • Genres (Book): Fiction, Novel
    • Original Language: English Language
    Copies Sold: 34 million
    Kane and Abel is a 1979 novel by British author Jeffrey Archer. The title and story is a play on the Biblical brothers, Cain and Abel. Released in the United Kingdom in 1979 and in the United States ...more
  • The Kite Runner
    33
    Khaled Hosseini
    • First Published: 2003-05-29
    • Subjects: Literary, Afghanistan
    • Genres (Book): Drama, Historical fiction, Fiction
    • Original Language: English Language, Dutch Language

    Copies Sold: 31.5 million

    The Kite Runner is the first novel by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2003 by Riverhead Books, it tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of ...more
  • Copies Sold: 30 million
    • First Published: 1960-07-11
    • Subjects: Monarch, Literary, Literature, Classics, Drama
    • Genres (Book): Fiction
    • Original Language: English Language
    Copies Sold: 30 million
    To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was immediately successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, and has become a classic of modern American literature. The plot and ...more
  • Valley of the Dolls
    36
    Jacqueline Susann
    • First Published: 1966
    • Genres (Book): Romance novel
    • Original Language: English Language
    Copies Sold: 30 million
    Valley of the Dolls is a novel by American writer Jacqueline Susann, published in 1966. The "dolls" within the title is a slang term for pills used only by Susann. The term dolls also represents the ...more
  • Gone with the Wind
    37
    Margaret Mitchell
    • First Published: 1936-06-30
    • Subjects: Women, Plantations in the American South, United States of America, American Civil War, History
    • Genres (Book): Historical fiction, Fiction, Novel
    • Original Language: English Language
    Copies Sold: 30 million
    Gone with the Wind is a novel written by Margaret Mitchell, first published in 1936. The story is set in Clayton County, Georgia, and Atlanta during the American Civil War and Reconstruction era. It ...more
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude
    38
    Gabriel García Márquez
    • First Published: 1967
    • Subjects: Latin America
    • Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Magic realism, Novel
    • Original Language: Spanish Language
    Copies Sold: 30 million
    One Hundred Years of Solitude is a 1967 novel by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez that tells the multi-generational story of the Buendía family, whose patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía, founds ...more
    • First Published: 1997
    • Subjects: Christianity, Self-help, Religion
    • Genres (Book): Non-fiction
    Copies Sold: 30 million
    The Purpose Driven Life is a devotional book written by Christian author Rick Warren and published by Zondervan. The book has been on the New York Times Best Seller list for advice books for one of ...more
  • The Thorn Birds
    40
    Colleen McCullough
    • First Published: 1977-04
    • Subjects: Literary, Clergy, Australia
    • Genres (Book): Romance novel, Children's literature, Fiction, Novel
    • Original Language: English Language
    Copies Sold: 30 million
    The Thorn Birds is a 1977 best-selling novel by Colleen McCullough, an Australian author. In 1983 it was adapted as a TV mini-series that, during its television run 27–30 March, became the United ...more
  • Think and Grow Rich
    41
    Napoleon Hill
    • Subjects: Commerce, Finance, Entrepreneurship, New Age, Wealth
    • Genres (Book): Business, Psychology, Economics, Inspirational
    • Original Language: English Language
    Copies Sold: 30 million
    Think and Grow Rich is a 1937 motivational personal development and self-help book by Napoleon Hill inspired by a suggestion from Scottish-American businessman Andrew Carnegie. While the title ...more
  • The Revolt of Mamie Stover
    42
    William Bradford Huie
    Copies Sold: 30 million
    The Revolt of Mamie Stover is a 1951 novel by William Bradford Huie about a young woman from Mississippi who goes to Hollywood to work as an actress. Driven into prostitution, she moves to Honolulu, ...more
    • First Published: 2005
    • Subjects: Crime
    • Genres (Book): Crime Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
    • Original Language: Swedish Language
    Copies Sold: 30 million
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a crime novel by the late Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson. It is the first book of the Millennium trilogy, which, when published posthumously in 2005, ...more
    • First Published: 1969-06-03
    • Subjects: Education, Animal, English Literature, Language
    • Genres (Book): Picture book, Children's literature, Fiction
    Copies Sold: 30 million
    The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a children's picture book designed, illustrated and written by Eric Carle, first published by the World Publishing Company in 1969, later published by Penguin Putnam. ...more
  • The Late, Great Planet Earth
    45
    Carla C. Carlson, Hal Lindsey
    • First Published: 1970
    • Subjects: Ecology, Philosophy, Literary, The Bible, Christianity
    • Genres (Book): Fiction, Science, Sociology, Inspirational
    Copies Sold: 28 million
    The Late, Great Planet Earth is the title of a best-selling 1970 book by Hal Lindsey with Carole C. Carlson, and first published by Zondervan. The book was adapted by Rolf Forsberg and Robert Amram ...more
    • First Published: 1998
    • Subjects: Calendar, Business, Self-help, Applied psychology, Psychology
    • Genres (Book): Fiction
    • Original Language: English Language
    Copies Sold: 26 million
    Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life, published on September 8, 1998, is a motivational tale by Spencer Johnson written in the style of a parable or ...more
  • The Wind in the Willows
    47
    • First Published: 1908
    • Subjects: Christmas, Theatre, Performing arts, Literary criticism, Mythology
    • Genres (Book): Children's literature, Fiction, Novel
    • Original Language: English Language
    Copies Sold: 25 million
    The Wind in the Willows is a children's novel by Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908. Alternately slow moving and fast paced, it focuses on four anthropomorphised animals in a pastoral version ...more
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four
    48
    • First Published: 1949-06-08
    • Subjects: Brainwashing, Literature, Classics, English Language, English Literature
    • Genres (Book): Utopian and dystopian fiction, Social science fiction, Political fiction
    • Original Language: English Language
    Copies Sold: 25 million
    Nineteen Eighty-Four, sometimes published as 1984, is a dystopian novel by English author George Orwell published in 1949. The novel is set in Airstrip One, a province of the superstate Oceania in a ...more
    • First Published: 1989
    • Subjects: Finance, Philosophy, Entrepreneurship, Calendar, Self-help
    • Genres (Book): Non-fiction, Self-help

    Copies Sold: 25 million

    The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a business and self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. Covey presents an approach to being effective in attaining goals by ...more
  • The Celestine Prophecy
    50
    • First Published: 1993
    • Subjects: Spirituality, New Age, Visionary, Adventure, Psychological novel
    • Genres (Book): Philosophy, Speculative fiction, Fiction, Inspirational
    • Original Language: English Language
    Copies Sold: 23 million
    The Celestine Prophecy is a 1993 novel by James Redfield that discusses various psychological and spiritual ideas that are rooted in many ancient Eastern Traditions and New Age spirituality. The main ...more
  • The Godfather
    51
    Mario Puzo
    • First Published: 1969-03-10
    • Subjects: Literature, Drama, Adventure, United States of America, Organized crime
    • Genres (Book): Crime Fiction, Thriller, Fiction
    • Original Language: English Language
    Copies Sold: 21 million
    The Godfather is a crime novel written by Italian American author Mario Puzo, originally published in 1969 by G. P. Putnam's Sons. It details the story of a fictitious Mafia family based in New York ...more
  • Copies Sold: 21 million
    Love Story is a 1970 romance novel by American writer Erich Segal. The book's origins lay in a screenplay that Segal wrote, and that was subsequently approved for production by Paramount Pictures. ...more
  • Wolf Totem
    53
    Lü Jiamin
    • First Published: 2004-04
    • Subjects: Culture of Mongolia, Mongols, Culture
    • Genres (Book): Fiction
    • Original Language: Chinese language
    Copies Sold: 20 million
    Wolf Totem is a 2004 Chinese semi-autobiographical novel about the experiences of a young student from Beijing who finds himself sent to the countryside of Inner Mongolia in 1967, at the height of ...more
  • Copies Sold: 20 million
  • Jaws
    55
    Peter Benchley
    • Subjects: Great white shark
    • Genres (Book): Novel
    • Original Language: English Language
    Copies Sold: 20 million
    Jaws is a 1974 novel by Peter Benchley. It tells the story of a great white shark that preys upon a small resort town and the voyage of three men trying to kill it. The novel grows out of Benchley's ...more
  • Love You Forever
    56
    Robert Munsch
    • First Published: 1986
    • Subjects: Love
    • Genres (Book): Fiction
    • Original Language: English Language
    Copies Sold: 20 million
    Love You Forever is a Canadian picture book written by Robert Munsch and published in 1986. It tells the story of the evolving relationship between a boy and his mother. The book was written after ...more
  • Sophie's World
    57
    Jostein Gaarder
    • First Published: 1991
    • Genres (Book): Speculative fiction
    • Original Language: Norwegian language
    Copies Sold: 20 million
    Sophie's World is a 1999 Norwegian drama–adventure film directed by Erik Gustavson and starring Silje Storstein as Sophie. It is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Jostein Gaarder. Upon ...more
  • The Women's Room
    58
    Marilyn French
    • First Published: 1977
    • Subjects: Feminism
    • Original Language: English Language
    Copies Sold: 20 million
    The Women's Room is a novel by American feminist author Marilyn French, published in 1977. French first appeared as a major participant in the feminist movement with the publication of The Women's ...more
  • What to Expect When You're Expecting
    59
    Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel
    • First Published: 1984
    • Original Language: English Language
    Copies Sold: 20 million
    What to Expect When You're Expecting is a pregnancy guide, now in its fourth edition, written by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel and published by Workman Publishing. Originally published in 1984, the ...more
    • First Published: 1964
    • Subjects: Chocolate, Classics, Adventure, Family, Folklore
    • Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Fiction, Fantasy
    • Original Language: Welsh Language, English Language

    Copies Sold: 20 million

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a 1964 children's book by British author Roald Dahl. The story features the adventures of young Charlie Bucket inside the chocolate factory of eccentric ...more