The most popular book of all time is the Quran

MDI Comment: This article shows that interest in the Quran remains quite significant, despite the fact that Muslims are a global minority overall. The issue to consider is not whether enough people have access to the Quran, but whether enough people truly understand it.


The most popular book of all time isn’t Harry Potter

by Ollie McAteer

Article originally published in the, 15 Jul 2015

The Koran is the most popular book of all time. 

The religious text has been translated into 50 different languages, has nearly 400 editions and more than three billion copies have been printed.

The King James Bible is a close runner up, with 2.5 billion copies to its name.

In third place is Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung.

Harry Potter (the entire series, which you could say is kind of cheating) makes it into fifth place, while wildcard The Very Hungry Caterpillar slides into the list among the weighty tomes with 30m copies sold.

The list is ranked by and takes into account the number of editions, translations and copies sold.

Most popular books of all time

  1. The Koran – three billion copies sold
  2. The King James Bible – 2.5bn 
  3. Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-tung, Mao Zedong – 800m
  4. Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes – 500m 
  5. Harry Potter series, JK Rowling – 450m
  6. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens – 200m 
  7. The Lord Of The Rings, JRR Tolkien – 150m
  8. Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – 140m
  9. Alice In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll – 100m
  10. Dream Of The Red Chamber, Cao Xueqin – 100m
  11. And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie – 100m
  12. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkein – 100m
  13. She: A History Of Adventure, H.Rider Haggard – 83m
  14. The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, CS Lewis – 85m
  15. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown – 80m
  16. The Catcher In The Rye, JD Salinger – 65m
  17. The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle – 60m
  18. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, Jules Verne, 60m
  19. Millennium Trilogy, Stieg Larsson – 50m
  20. Watership Down, Richard Adams – 50m
  21. Odyssey, Homer – 45m
  22. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle – 30m
  23. To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee – 30m
  24. Gone With The Wind, Margaret Mitchell – 30m
  25. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell – 25m
  26. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald – 25m
  27. The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain – 20m
  28. Anderson’s Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Anderson – 20m
  29. Pride And Prejudice, Jane Austen – 20m
  30. Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe – 9m


Categories: Spotlight

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