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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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  • 1

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens
    Copies Sold: 200 million
    A Tale of Two Cities is a novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during...  more

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    #27 of 61 Novels with the Best Love Stories#12 of 40 Classic Books You Never Need To Read Again

  • 2

    The Lord of the Rings

    J. R. R. Tolkien
    Copies Sold: 150 million
    The Lord of the Rings is an epic high-fantasy novel written by English author J. R. R....  more

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    #45 of 169 Books You'll Never Finish Reading#1 of 120 The Best Fantasy Book Series

  • 3

    The Little Prince

    Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    Copies Sold: 140 million

    The Little Prince, first published in 1943, is a novella and the most famous work of the...  more

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    #65 of 179 The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time#27 of 38 The Best French Novels

  • 4

    Copies Sold: 120 million

    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series and J....  more

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    #1 of 29 The Best Young Adult Fiction Series#4 of 102 102 Books Recommended By Stephen King

  • 5

    The Hobbit

    J. R. R. Tolkien
    Copies Sold: 100 million
    The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a fantasy novel and children's book by English author...  more

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    #12 of 20 20 Books That Deserve Much Better Adaptations Than They Got#11 of 41 The Best Young Adult Adventure Books

  • 6

    Copies Sold: 100 million

    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel...  more

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    #3 of 52 The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels#27 of 97 The Greatest Books to Read to Kids

  • 7
    Copies Sold: 100 million
    Dream of the Red Chamber, also called The Story of the Stone, composed by Cao Xueqin, is one...  more

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    #60 of 101 The Best Books With Red in the Title#79 of 100 The Best Books With Dream in the Title

  • 8
    Copies Sold: 100 million
    And Then There Were None is a mystery novel by English writer Agatha Christie, described by...  more

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    #1 of 60 The Best Suspense Novels#1 of 102 The Best Agatha Christie Books of All Time

  • 9
    Copies Sold: 85 million
    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a high fantasy novel for children by C. S. Lewis,...  more

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    #3 of 20 If You've Read More Than Four Of These Books Or Series, You're A Real Fantasy Nerd#4 of 18 Original Book Covers and the Movie Reissue Covers That Ruined Them

  • 10
    Copies Sold: 83 million
    She — subtitled A History of Adventure — is a novel by H. Rider Haggard, first serialised in...  more
  • 11
    Copies Sold: 80 million
    The Da Vinci Code is a 2003 mystery-detective novel by Dan Brown. It follows symbologist...  more

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    #104 of 331 The Top Must-Read Books of All Time#176 of 1,235 The Best Novels Ever Written

  • 12

    Copies Sold: 80 million

    The Adventures of Pinocchio is a novel for children by Italian author Carlo Collodi, written...  more
  • 13
    Copies Sold: 65 million
    The Catcher in the Rye is a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger. A controversial novel originally...  more

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    #18 of 156 The Greatest American Novels#30 of 71 Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving

  • 14

    The Alchemist

    Paulo Coelho
    Copies Sold: 65 million
    The Alchemist (Portuguese: O Alquimista) is a novel by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho that was...  more

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    #56 of 102 The Best Books for Teens#7 of 28 The Best Inspirational Books for Young Adults

  • 15

    Copies Sold: 65 million

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the seventh and final novel of the Harry Potter...  more

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    #4 of 7 All Harry Potter Books, Ranked Best to Worst#3 of 102 The Best Books About Wizards

  • 16

    Steps to Christ

    Ellen G. White
    Copies Sold: 60 million
    Steps to Christ is an evangelistic book written by Ellen G. White, co-founder and prophetess...  more
  • 17
    Copies Sold: 50 million
  • 18
    Copies Sold: 50 million
    The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care written by Benjamin Spock, is a manual on infant...  more
  • 19

    Anne of Green Gables

    Lucy Maud Montgomery
    Copies Sold: 50 million
    Anne of Green Gables is a 1908 novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Written for all...  more

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    #4 of 30 Good Christian Books for Young Adults#17 of 26 The Best Audiobooks On Librivox

  • 20

    Black Beauty

    Anna Sewell
    Copies Sold: 50 million
    Black Beauty is an 1877 novel by English author Anna Sewell. It was composed in the last years...  more

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    #110 of 300 The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies#17 of 117 The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

  • 21
    Copies Sold: 50 million
    The Name of the Rose, a novel by Umberto Eco, is a murder mystery set in an Italian monastery...  more

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    #19 of 57 The Best Postmodern Novels#8 of 61 The Best Crime Novels

  • 22

    Charlotte's Web

    E. B. White

    Copies Sold: 50 million

    Charlotte's Web is a children's novel by American author E. B. White and illustrated by Garth...  more

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    #6 of 125 The Best Overall Books for Kids#4 of 54 The Best Books for First Graders

  • 23

    Copies Sold: 50 million

  • 24
    Copies Sold: 45 million
    The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a British children's book written and illustrated by Beatrix...  more

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    #5 of 51 The Best Children's Book Series#1 of 16 Children's Books You Didn't Realize Kids Are Still Reading

  • 25
    Copies Sold: 40 million
    Jonathan Livingston Seagull is 1973 film directed by Hall Bartlett....  more