The Most Read Books of All Time

There a lot of books in the world and millions of books are written and published every year. That got us wondering what are the most read books of all time? We decided to compile a list of the top ten most read books and this is the result. 

Most Read Books of All Time

The Bible

Easily the most read book in the world is the Bible for obvious reasons. It is estimated to have sold over 40 million copies in the last 60 years. You can even find it at most hotels. 

The Holy Quran

Coming in second is the Holy Quran. Tracking the sales of The Holy Quran is much more difficult so there is no data available. With that said, like the Bible, it is also read and recited by millions of Muslims. 

The Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse Tung

In third place comes The Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse Tung. It has sold over 800 million copies in the past 50 years due to it going viral during the central revolution in China. It was heavily published all across the country due to popular demand and consumer demand.

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter Book Order
Harry Potter Book Guide by J. K. Rowling.

The first fiction novel of the last comes in at fourth place and is the boy who lived. The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling have come to define a generation and have stayed in the mainstream for over the past 20 years. They have sold north of 400 million copies and are still going strong.

The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings trilogy book series
The Lord of the Rings Series book order

The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien takes the fifth spot and have sold 150 million copies. It is not the easiest book series to read whereas Harry Potter was initially intended for children. The longevity of the books (first published in 1954) has shown that great writing is timeless. 

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist novel
The Alchemist byPaulo Coelho

Coming in at sixth is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, a wonderful novel about chasing your dreams and the treasure at the end of the journey. First published in Brazil in 1988, the book has gone on to sale millions of copies around the world!

The Da Vince Code by Dan Brown

The Da Vinci Code. book cover
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Dan Brown’s The Da Vince Code is the seventh most read book and that should come as no surprise. In the early 2000’s, this book was everywhere and was made into a movie. While the book is not life changing, it has still gone on to become one of the best-selling books of all time. 

The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Myers

Eighth place goes to The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Myers and that is to be expected. Twilight made glittery vampires a thing and also were made into blockbuster films. And they influenced future books and tv shows, though none took off like Twilight.

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell is a classic tale and the ninth most read book of all time. It was first published in 1938 and has gone on to sell over 30 million copies. Staying popular for a long time through many generations is not easy but Gone with the Wind has been able to do just that. The novel is the second most loved book by Americans after the Bible!

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

And lastly, coming in tenth place is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I have never heard of this book and I am impressive to find out that it was published in 1937, a year before Gone with the Wind. The book is motivational and helps to think positively and find a way to move forward. It has sold over 15 million copies worldwide. 


These are the most read books of all time. Not every book someone buys is always read but they do plan to read it one day. Were there any surprises on this list? I know I was surprised and some of these books never even crossed my path.

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