Top Ten Best-Selling Books of All Time

There are few things in life that can take us as deep into our imagination as books can. Books are a timeless element in the story of humanity. They express stories, desires, fears, and acts of heroism that inspire people all around the world. Next time you decide to pick up a book consider one of these best-selling classics:


Think and Grow Rich

Author: Napolean Hill

First published: 1937

Sales: 70 million

Think and Grow Rich was perhaps one of the first self-help books and established the genre. Napolean Hill spent years carefully examining the lives and behaviors of financially successful people and created a formula for achieving personal success. The popularity of this book was aided by the fact it was released during the Great Depression and millions of people were looking for some sort of inspiration to get them through the troubling times. Hill’s formula for success is ultimately philosophical in nature and has inspired generations with its lasting message.


The Da Vinci Code

Author: Dan Brown

First published: 2003

Sales: 80 million

The Da Vinci code took the world by storm in 2003. It is a engaging novel about a conspiracy hiding the secrets of the Catholic Church. Its popularity soared when the Catholic Church publicly decried it. The novel even inspired a film by the same name staring Tom Hanks.


She: A History of Adventure

Author: H. Rider Haggard

First published: 1887

Sales: 83 million

She is broadly considered to be one of the classics of the genre of imaginative literature. It has been translated into 44 different languages around the world. The story follows the journey of Horrace Holly and his ward Leo Vincey into a long lost kingdom deep in the African interior. It is there that they encounter a primitive race of people and a mysterious white queen.


The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Author: C. S. Lewis

First published: 1950Sales: 85 million

Set during World War II, The Lion, the Witch  and the Wardrobe was originally intended to be a children’s book. The book takes the main characters, four siblings,  through a wardrobe that acts as a portal into a magical realm called Narnia where they encounter anthropomorphic animals, other fantastical people, and a god-like lion. It was recently made into a film a few years back.


And Then There Were None

Author: Agatha Christie

First published: 1939

Sales: 100 million

British legend Agatha Christie is perhaps one of the greatest mystery writers of all time. The Guinness Book of World Records estimates that all of her novels have sold close to 1 billion copies worldwide. And Then There Were none was first printed in 1939. It details a series of murders that occur on an island in which each death coincides with a passage from an old nursery rhyme.



Dream of the Red Chamber: The Story of Stone

Author: Cao Xuequin

First published: 1754-1791?

Sales: 100 million

The Dream of the Red Chamber documents the rise and fall of a family living during the Qing dynasty. It is widely considered to be one of the best examples of classic Chinese literature ever produced.


The Hobbit

Author: J.R.R. Tolkein

First published: 1937

Sales: 100 million

The Hobbit is a fantasy novel which met wide critical acclaim when it was published in 1937.  The events that take place in the story set the framework for his later work The Lord of the Rings.  Since it was published there have been a number of adaptations for stage, screen, radio, and even video games.


The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince)

Author: Antoine de Saint-Exupery

First published: 1943

Sales: 140 million

The Little Prince is a bizarre, yet somehow charming children’s book about a prince who lives in outer space on a tiny asteroid.  After being initially published in France in 1943 it became instantly popular and soon after became available worldwide. It has become so popular over the years that astronomers named a real life asteroid after the asteroid the prince lives on in the book.


The Lord of the Rings

Author: J.R.R. Tolkein

First published: 1955

Sales: 150 million

It could be argued that The Lord of the Rings is the ultimate fantasy novel. It paved the way for hundreds of authors after it and established the fantasy genre. Originally The Lord of the Rings was written as a single novel, but was divided up by the publisher for practical printing purposes.


A Tale of Two Cities

Author: Charles Dickens

First published: 1859

Sales: 200 million

First published in 1859, this novel by Charles Dickens takes a look at the class struggles that ultimately lead to the French Revolution, and the possibility that sometimes revolutionaries are actually worse than the establishment they are fighting against. The famous quote, “It was the best of times, it was the word of times,” originated from this literary masterpiece.

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