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The Best Selling Books of All Time

Updated June 14, 2019 1.3m views103 items

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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  • 26

    A Message to Garcia

    Elbert Hubbard
    Copies Sold: 40 million
    A Message to Garcia is a best-selling inspirational essay by Elbert Hubbard, published in 1899. It has been made into two motion pictures....  more
  • 27

    First Published2000-05

    SubjectsEspionage, Vatican City, Adventure, Election, Illuminati

    Genres (Book)Conspiracy, Speculative fiction, Crime Fiction, Cabal, Mystery

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Copies Sold: 39 million
    Angels & Demons is a 2000 bestselling mystery-thriller novel written by American author Dan Brown and published by Pocket Books. The novel introduces the character Robert Langdon, who is also the...  more

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    #23 of 60 The Best Suspense Novels#2 of 57 The Best Books With Demon in the Title

  • 28

    First Published1936

    Genres (Book)Novel

    Original LanguageRussian Language

    Copies Sold: 36.4 million
    How the Steel Was Tempered is a socialist realist novel written by Nikolai Ostrovsky. Pavel Korchagin is the central character....  more
  • 29

    War and Peace

    Leo Tolstoy

    First Published1869

    SubjectsPopular literature, Name day, Napoleonic Wars, Russia, History

    Genres (Book)Romance novel, War novel, Historical novel, Philosophical fiction

    Original LanguageFrench Language, Russian Language

    Copies Sold: 36 million

    War and Peace is a novel by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy, first published in 1869. The work is epic in scale and is regarded as one of the most important works of world literature. It is considered...  more

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    #3 of 40 The Best Russian Novels#56 of 315 300+ Great Books of the Western World

  • 30

    SubjectsSelf-help, Applied psychology, Psychology

    Copies Sold: 35 million
    You Can Heal Your Life is 1984 self-help and new thought book by Louise L. Hay. It was the second book by the author, after Heal your Body which she wrote at age 60. After Hay appeared on The Oprah...  more
  • 31

    First Published1947

    SubjectsNetherlands in World War II, Otto Frank, World War II, Hannah Pik-Goslar, Sol Kimel

    Genres (Book)Children's literature, Biography, Autobiography, High fantasy

    Original LanguageDutch 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

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    #1 of 126 The Best Autobiographies Ever Written#18 of 71 Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving

  • 32

    Kane and Abel

    Jeffrey Archer

    First Published1979

    SubjectsAdventure

    Genres (Book)Fiction, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish 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
  • 33

    The Kite Runner

    Khaled Hosseini

    First Published2003-05-29

    SubjectsLiterary, Afghanistan

    Genres (Book)Drama, Historical fiction, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish 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

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    #2 of 49 The Best Books About Afghanistan#20 of 20 20 Books to Read in Your 20s

  • 34
    Copies Sold: 30 million
  • 35

    First Published1960-07-11

    SubjectsMonarch, Literary, Literature, Classics, Drama

    Genres (Book)Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish 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

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    #10 of 117 The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written#4 of 102 The Best Books for Teens

  • 36

    Valley of the Dolls

    Jacqueline Susann

    First Published1966

    Genres (Book)Romance novel

    Original LanguageEnglish 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
  • 37

    Gone with the Wind

    Margaret Mitchell

    First Published1936-06-30

    SubjectsWomen, Plantations in the American South, United States of America, American Civil War, History

    Genres (Book)Historical fiction, Fiction, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish 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

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    #26 of 161 The Greatest American Novels#16 of 62 The Best Pulitzer Prize Winning Novels

  • 38

    One Hundred Years of Solitude

    Gabriel García Márquez

    First Published1967

    SubjectsLatin America

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Magic realism, Novel

    Original LanguageSpanish 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

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    #2 of 46 The Best Spanish Novels#32 of 78 The Best Oprah Book Club Books

  • 39

    First Published1997

    SubjectsChristianity, 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
  • 40

    The Thorn Birds

    Colleen McCullough

    First Published1977-04

    SubjectsLiterary, Clergy, Australia

    Genres (Book)Romance novel, Children's literature, Fiction, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish 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

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    #13 of 61 Novels with the Best Love Stories#15 of 60 The Greatest Period TV Shows Set in the 1960s

  • 41

    Think and Grow Rich

    Napoleon Hill

    SubjectsCommerce, Finance, Entrepreneurship, New Age, Wealth

    Genres (Book)Business, Psychology, Economics, Inspirational

    Original LanguageEnglish 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
  • 42

    The Revolt of Mamie Stover

    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
  • 43

    First Published2005

    SubjectsCrime

    Genres (Book)Crime Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

    Original LanguageSwedish 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

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    #47 of 169 Books You'll Never Finish Reading#1 of 189 The Best Books Released Posthumously

  • 44

    First Published1969-06-03

    SubjectsEducation, 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

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    #56 of 331 The Top Must-Read Books of All Time#7 of 97 The Greatest Books to Read to Kids

  • 45

    The Late, Great Planet Earth

    Carla C. Carlson, Hal Lindsey

    First Published1970

    SubjectsEcology, 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
  • 46

    First Published1998

    SubjectsCalendar, Business, Self-help, Applied psychology, Psychology

    Genres (Book)Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish 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
  • 47

    First Published1908

    SubjectsChristmas, Theatre, Performing arts, Literary criticism, Mythology

    Genres (Book)Children's literature, Fiction, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish 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

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    #45 of 126 The Best Overall Books for Kids#71 of 300 The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies

  • 48

    First Published1949-06-08

    SubjectsBrainwashing, Literature, Classics, English Language, English Literature

    Genres (Book)Utopian and dystopian fiction, Social science fiction, Political fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish 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

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    #1 of 72 The Greatest Dystopian Novels#1 of 176 The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time

  • 49

    First Published1989

    SubjectsFinance, 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

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    #4 of 90 The Best Books With Seven in the Title#12 of 26 25+ Must-Listen Audiobooks For Nonfiction Nerds

  • 50

    First Published1993

    SubjectsSpirituality, New Age, Visionary, Adventure, Psychological novel

    Genres (Book)Philosophy, Speculative fiction, Fiction, Inspirational

    Original LanguageEnglish 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

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    #592 of 1,236 The Best Novels Ever Written#263 of 278 The Best Books About Mysticism