Culture

The Best Selling Books of All Time

Jeff Moore
Updated June 14, 2019 1.2M views 103 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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51
The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 51 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Mario Puzo

First Published: 1969-03-10

Subjects: Literature, Drama, Adventure, United States of America, Organized crime, + more

Genres (Book): Crime Fiction, Thriller, Fiction

Original Language: English Language

Copies Sold: 21 million

More The Godfather 

#86 of 1,288 The Best Novels Ever Written #138 of 314 The Top Must-Read Books of All Time #120 of 821 Books That Changed Your Life

52
Love Story is listed (or ranked) 52 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time

Subjects: Literary, Harvard University, Massachusetts

Genres (Book): Romance novel, Fiction

Original Language: English Language, Hindi Language

Copies Sold: 21 million

More Love Story 

#56 of 117 The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written #22 of 34 The Best Novels About College #30 of 95 The Best Selling Novels of the 1970s

53
Wolf Totem is listed (or ranked) 53 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Lü Jiamin

First Published: 2004-04

Subjects: Culture of Mongolia, Mongols, Culture

Genres (Book): Fiction

Original Language: Chinese language

Copies Sold: 20 million
54
The Happy Hooker: Her Ow... is listed (or ranked) 54 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Copies Sold: 20 million
55
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 55 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Peter Benchley

Subjects: Great white shark

Genres (Book): Novel

Original Language: English Language

Copies Sold: 20 million

More Jaws 

#555 of 1,288 The Best Novels Ever Written #32 of 192 The Scariest Horror Books of All Time #18 of 108 The Scariest Novels of All Time

56
Love You Forever is listed (or ranked) 56 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Robert Munsch

First Published: 1986

Subjects: Love

Genres (Book): Fiction

Original Language: English Language

Copies Sold: 20 million

More Love You Forever 

#31 of 124 The Best Overall Books for Kids #6 of 62 The Best Books for Toddlers #13 of 98 50+ Good Books With Love in the Title

57
Sophie's World is listed (or ranked) 57 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Jostein Gaarder

First Published: 1991

Genres (Book): Speculative fiction

Original Language: Norwegian language

Copies Sold: 20 million
58
The Women's Room is listed (or ranked) 58 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Marilyn French

First Published: 1977

Subjects: Feminism

Original Language: English Language

Copies Sold: 20 million
59
What to Expect When You'... is listed (or ranked) 59 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel

First Published: 1984

Original Language: English Language

Copies Sold: 20 million
60
Charlie and the Chocolat... is listed (or ranked) 60 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Roald Dahl

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

More Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 

#72 of 1,288 The Best Novels Ever Written #63 of 314 The Top Must-Read Books of All Time #1 of 300 The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies

61
Where the Wild Things Ar... is listed (or ranked) 61 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Maurice Sendak

First Published: 1963

Subjects: Education, Games, Classics, Adventure, Children's film

Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Picture book, Children's literature, Fiction, Fantasy

Original Language: English Language

Copies Sold: 19 million

More Where the Wild Things Are 

#39 of 314 The Top Must-Read Books of All Time #24 of 300 The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies #48 of 821 Books That Changed Your Life

62
The Secret is listed (or ranked) 62 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Rhonda Byrne

First Published: 2006-11

Subjects: New Age

Genres (Book): Spirituality, Non-fiction, Self-help

More The Secret 

#96 of 171 35+ Books Everybody Lies About Having Read #96 of 98 The Best Books With Secret in the Title #7 of 23 The Most Motivating Audiobooks

63
Fear of Flying is listed (or ranked) 63 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Erica Jong

Subjects: Women, Adultery

Genres (Book): Fiction, Novel

Original Language: English Language

Copies Sold: 18 million

More Fear of Flying 

#1,224 of 1,288 The Best Novels Ever Written #163 of 821 Books That Changed Your Life #31 of 94 The Best Books About Adultery

64
Goodnight Moon is listed (or ranked) 64 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Margaret Wise Brown

First Published: 1947

Subjects: Moon, Rabbits, Classics, Animal

Genres (Book): Children's literature, Fiction

Original Language: English Language

Copies Sold: 16 million

More Goodnight Moon 

#142 of 821 Books That Changed Your Life #9 of 124 The Best Overall Books for Kids #3 of 105 The Greatest Books to Read to Kids

65
Guess How Much I Love Yo... is listed (or ranked) 65 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time

First Published: 1994

Genres (Book): Children's literature

Original Language: English Language

Copies Sold: 15 million

More Guess How Much I Love You 

#37 of 105 The Greatest Books to Read to Kids #3 of 62 The Best Books for Toddlers #16 of 31 The Best Board Books for Toddlers

66
Sh?gun is listed (or ranked) 66 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Copies Sold: 15 million
67
The Poky Little Puppy is listed (or ranked) 67 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Janette Sebring Lowrey

First Published: 1942-10-21

Subjects: Dog

Genres (Book): Picture book

Original Language: English Language

Copies Sold: 15 million

More The Poky Little Puppy 

#15 of 105 The Greatest Books to Read to Kids #66 of 100 50+ Good Books With Little in the Title

68
The Pillars of the Earth... is listed (or ranked) 68 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Ken Follett

First Published: 1989

Subjects: Suspense, History, Great Britain

Genres (Book): Historical fiction, Historical novel

Original Language: English Language

Copies Sold: 15 million

More The Pillars of the Earth 

#121 of 1,288 The Best Novels Ever Written #50 of 169 Books You'll Never Finish Reading #316 of 821 Books That Changed Your Life

69
How to Win Friends and I... is listed (or ranked) 69 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Dale Carnegie

First Published: 1936-10

Subjects: Self-help

Genres (Book): Non-fiction, Self-help

Original Language: English Language

Copies Sold: 15 million

More How to Win Friends and Influence People 

#22 of 61 The Greatest Non-Fiction Novels #1 of 19 The Best Dale Carnegie Books #23 of 87 The Best Selling Non-Fiction of the 1930's

70
Perfume is listed (or ranked) 70 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Patrick Süskind

First Published: 1985

Subjects: France

Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Horror Film, Magic realism, Mystery, Historical novel

Original Language: German Language

Copies Sold: 15 million

More Perfume 

#423 of 1,288 The Best Novels Ever Written #113 of 192 The Scariest Horror Books of All Time #47 of 54 The Best Postmodern Novels

71
The horse whisperer is listed (or ranked) 71 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Gretel Ehrlich

Copies Sold: 16 million

72
The Shadow of the Wind ... is listed (or ranked) 72 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Carlos Ruiz Zafón

First Published: 2001

Genres (Book): Mystery, Fiction

Original Language: Spanish Language

Copies Sold: 15 million

More The Shadow of the Wind 

#358 of 1,288 The Best Novels Ever Written #317 of 821 Books That Changed Your Life #50 of 61 Novels with the Best Love Stories

73
The Shack: Where Tragedy... is listed (or ranked) 73 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
William P. Young

First Published: 2007-05

Subjects: Oregon

Genres (Book): Fiction

Original Language: English Language

Copies Sold: 15 million

More The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity 

#8 of 90 The Most Inspiring Faith-Based Books #2 of 30 The Best Audiobook Mysteries #6 of 6 The Best Contemporary Christian Fiction

74
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 74 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
S. E. Hinton

Subjects: Literature, Young adult, Adolescence, Classics, Family

Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Fiction, Young adult literature

Original Language: English Language

Copies Sold: 15 million

More The Outsiders 

#25 of 184 The Greatest American Novels #75 of 1,288 The Best Novels Ever Written #74 of 314 The Top Must-Read Books of All Time

75
The Hitchhiker's Guide t... is listed (or ranked) 75 on the list The Best Selling Books of All Time
Douglas Adams

First Published: 1979-10-12

Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Comic novel, Comic science fiction, Humour, Science Fiction

Original Language: English Language

Copies Sold: 14 million

More The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 

#43 of 1,288 The Best Novels Ever Written #21 of 171 35+ Books Everybody Lies About Having Read #2 of 191 The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time