This post lists 20 Best-Seller Books in the World in any language. To let you know, “best-selling” is defined as the number of estimated copies sold of each book.
So, best-selling does not account for the number of books printed or currently owned. Moreover, it does not include comics and textbooks either.
This list of best-seller books has been compiled based on the highest sales estimate reported in reliable & independent sources.
Moreover, this list is not exhaustive. It does not include books such as “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens and “The Count of Monte Cristo” written by Alexandre Dumas, which have been recognized among best-selling books yet do not possess any reliable sales figures.
As per Guinness World Records (1995), the Bible is the best-selling book of all time. It has been estimated that over 5 billion copies of the Bible have been sold and distributed.
However, we have not included books of religious, philosophical, or political nature as these kinds of books do not offer exact print figures. Different publishers have produced them over many centuries.
To let you know, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling happens to be the best-selling book series in history. It has more than 500 million copies sold worldwide.
Now, without further ado, let’s explore the best-selling books of all time. Here’s the listing of 20 Best-seller Books in the World.
20 Top Seller Book in the World
1. Don Quixote (Sold – 500 million Copies)
The Spanish novel “Don Quixote,” written by Miguel De Cervantes, is recognized as the best-selling book. It is recognized among the most influential work of literature in the literary canon.
The book is the oldest on this list, so it’s pretty evident that it had a long time to accrue sales.
The book was first published in two parts in 1605 and 1615. Alonso Quijano is the central character in this novel, which proves that chivalry will never die. In fact, the book has been cited as a parody of the chivalric romances.
2. Xinhua Zidian (Sold – 400 million copies)
Xinhua Zidian holds second place in this list of the best-selling books of all time. This book is somewhat different from the rest on our list, as it’s a Chinese-language dictionary.
The book was first published in 1953.
It has become the standard dictionary among Chinese schoolchildren. This pocket-sized dictionary includes 3300 compounds as well as over 13000 logograms and traditional & variant Chinese characters.
As per the Guinness Book of World Records (2016), this book was recognized as the “most popular dictionary” and the “best-selling book” at that time.
3. A Tale of Two Cities (Sold – 200 million copies)
A Tale of Two Cities is a classic historical novel by Charles Dickens. It is among international bestselling books. It was first published in 1859.
The book examines the class struggles that lead to the French Revolution. It has been set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution.
The book accounts for the eighteen-year imprisonment of French Doctor Manette in Bastille prison, Paris, with his final release to live in London with his daughter, Lucie.
The book is said to be Dicken’s best-known work of historical fiction. More than 200 million copies of this book have been sold worldwide.
4. The Lord of the Rings (Sold – 150 million copies)
The Lord of the Rings is an ultimate fantasy novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. It has been recognized as a work that established the modern fantasy genre; it is the sequel to his first book, The Hobbit. It was released as a three-volume set over one year.
The books are as follows:
- The Fellowship of the Ring
- The Two Towers
- The Return of the King
All these books have been made into award-winning films. The books were recognized as Britain’s best novels of all times by the BBC’s The Big Read in 2003.
Over 150 million copies have been sold of the Lord of Rings to date.
5. The Little Prince (Sold – 140 million copies)
The Little Prince is the most successful work by French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The book was first published in 1943 by Reynal and Hitchcock in the United States in English and French.
The book has become one of the “best-selling” and most translated books that were ever published.
The book addresses themes of loneliness, love, loss, and friendship. It has been based on a boy who visits different planets in space. The book has been widely read and universally cherished by children and adults alike.
6. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Sold – 120 million copies)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the most successful work by British author J.K. Rowling. The book features the fantasy genre and is the first novel in the Harry Potter series.
It’s Rowling’s debut, which has gained worldwide acclamation among young audiences.
The book was first published in the U.K. on 26th June 1997. More than 120 million copies of this book have been sold to date. It has won numerous British and American book awards.
It was listed at the top of the New York Times list of “best-selling” fiction in 1999. It has also been made into a full-length feature film with the same name. The book has been translated into 73 languages.
7. And Then There Were None (Sold – 100 million copies)
‘And Then There Were None’ is the seventh best-selling book of all time, with over 100 million copies sold worldwide to date.
It’s a mystery novel by an English author named Agatha Christie. It was first released in the United Kingdom in 1939. It’s the World’s best-selling mystery book.
Ten strangers from different backgrounds visit an island. However, death takes them one by one. A blockbuster film has already been made based on this mystery novel.
8. Dream of the Red Chamber (Sold – 100 million copies)
The eighth number spot on our list of best-seller books is occupied by ‘Dream of the Red Chamber.’ The book was first published in 1791 by author Cao Xueqin.
It’s a classic work of Chinese literature that chronicles the rise & fall during the Qing Dynasty. The book remains popular even today. It features among China’s four great classic novels.
In fact, the book is considered a masterpiece of Chinese literature. More than 100 million copies of the book have been sold to date.
9. The Hobbit (Sold – 100 million copies)
‘The Hobbit’ is an extremely popular book that has earned a place among the best-seller books of all time. Over 100 million copies of this book have been sold worldwide to date.
It’s a child fantasy novel that J.R.R. Tolkien has written. It was first released on 21 September 1937.
The New York Herald Tribune gave the book the best juvenile fiction award. It was also nominated for the Carnegie Medal.
A film adaptation series has been made based on the novel. It was released in 2012 and became an instant hit with the highest-grossing film series.
10. The Lion, the Witch & Wardrobe (Sold – 85 million copies)
The coveted tenth spot in the best-seller books has been occupied by “The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe.”
The book was first published in 1950 and has been written by children’s novelist C.S. Lewis.
It’s a religious-themed fantasy novel. The book is intended to be a children’s book that has been set during World War II. It’s a ‘magical doorway’ story wherein a gate is discovered between the ordinary world and a magical one.
Here, the protagonists travel to a realm called Narnia, where they face all kinds of anthropomorphized animals, fantastical people as well as a godly lion.
In fact, the book leads to an entire series of Narnia novels. This book made it into a film.
11. She: A History of Adventure (Sold – 85 million copies)
‘She: A History of Adventure’ is an extremely popular novel by English novelist H. Rider Haggard.
It became an instant success upon its release in 1887. The book has never been out of print since.
Rider’s experiences have inspired the book in South Africa and British Colonialism.
It has been written in a first-person narrative. It follows Horace Holly and Leo Vincey, who venture into the African Interior.
The novel explores female authority and female behavior representing womanhood.
12. The Da Vinci Code (Sold 80 million copies)
‘The Da Vinci Code’ is a viral thriller novel by Dan Brown. The book was released in 2003. It has been a follow-up to Brown’s 2000 novel – “Angels and Demons,” and included Robert Langdon’s character.
The book became an instant hit with a worldwide audience and was recognized as a best seller selling above 80 million copies. It has been translated into 44 languages.
In fact, Columbia Pictures released a film adaptation based on this book in 2006. It became the second-highest-grossing film of 2006 and amassed around $758 million.
13. Think and Grow Rich (Sold – 70 million copies)
‘Think and Grow Rich’ is a top-rated self-help book written by U.S. author Napoleon Hill. The book was first released in 1937 during the Great Depression.
In fact, Napoleon Hill was considered the father of the “self-help” movement in the U.S. He carried out an extensive study of successful and wealthy people and went on to create a formula for achieving personal success.
His formula for success resonated with people who were struggling to become successful and wealthy.
The book went on to stay on the bestseller list for many years.
Moreover, Hill inspired an entire industry of books centered on how to be a better person.
14. Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince (Sold – 65 million copies)
‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the sixth novel in the series. It became trendy, selling more than 65 million copies worldwide.
This penultimate novel in the Harry Potter series has been based on Harry’s nemesis Lord Voldemort. It also shows Harry’s preparations for his final battle that was to be against Lord Voldemort.
It was first released on 16th July 2005 in the U.K. as well as in the USA.
In fact, more than nine million copies of the book were sold within the first twenty-four hours after its release.
It even won the “Book of the Year” award in 2006. Its film adaptation was released on 15th July 2009.
15. The Alchemist (Sold – 65 million copies)
‘The Alchemist’ is a Portuguese novel which Paulo Coelho wrote. The book was first released in 1988.
It has been recognized among the most translated books in the World. It eventually became an international bestseller.
The novel has been based on a young Sheppard from Andalusia. He undertakes a journey to the pyramids of Egypt after having a repeating dream of discovering a treasure there.
It’s the fifteenth best-seller book in the World. More than 65 million copies of the book have been sold worldwide.
16. Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets (Sold – 60 million copies)
‘Chamber of Secrets’ is the second fantasy novel in the Harry Potter series. It’s the sixteenth best-selling book in the World. Over 60 million copies of this book have been sold to date.
It was first released on 2ND July 1988 in the U.K. by Bloomsbury. The book received immense praise and awards. The book’s adaptation has been released in 2002, which became the fifth highest-grossing film ever.
17. The Catcher in the Rye (Sold – 60 million copies)
‘The Catcher in the Rye’ is an extremely popular novel on teen disillusionment by J.D. Salinger. It was first released in 1951.
The book is a “must-read” for adolescents everywhere.
Over 60 million copies of this book have been sold since its first release. The book was translated into major languages of the world.
The book was included in the Time Magazine list of the 100 Best English Language novels written since 1923.
18. Harry Potter & Goblet of Fire (Sold – 55 million copies)
‘Goblet of Fire’ is the fourth novel in the Harry Potter series. It was released on 8th July 2000. It was simultaneously published in the United States as well as in the United Kingdom.
It won the Hugo Award in 2001. It’s the only Harry Potter book to do so. The book has been adapted into a film and a video game, which both found immense success with the audience.
19. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Sold – 50 million copies)
‘A Tale of the Christ is a biblical tale that Lew Wallace wrote. The book was first published in 1880.
It has been based on the life & times of Jesus Christ. Protagonist Judah Ben-Hur has been used to observe Christ and some other aspects of life in that era. It is a meticulously researched novel. A film was scripted based on this novel in 1959, starring Charlton Hesston.
20. Lolita (Sold – 50 million copies)
‘Lolita’ is a controversial novel by Vladimir Nabokov. It was first published in 1955. It was often banned due to its subject matter, which concerns a man (Humbert) who developed a sexual relationship with his 12-year old stepdaughter.
However, Time Magazine named it among the 100 best novels of the World.
Well, that’s all in this post on best-selling books in the World. We hope that you enjoyed reading it. Thanks for visiting. We welcome your comments and suggestions.