When you hear words like Mega-Seller and Blockbuster, you probably immediately think of an action-packed film starring an impossibly beautiful couple battling through a series of unlikely situations and narrowly, but assuredly, coming out on top.
But these terms can apply to books, too, and you may be surprised at which titles have managed to break records! You’ve likely at least heard of all of them, and have possibly even read a few. In the case of the later, you’re in good company, since tens of millions, even hundreds of millions, of people all over the globe have done the same.
1. Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote
Released in 1612, Don Quixote has sold roughly 500 million copies in its time, a true testament to the fact that good stories have no expiration date. It’s spawned films, plays, and even provided the theme for games like the Bingo Canada has to offer!
The tale follows the exploits of a gentlemen named Alonso Quixano and his quest to prove that chivalry is not dead.
2. Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities
Most of us know this book from high-school, and it’s over 200 million sales may be a reflection of its almost mandatory status for curriculums the world over.
3. R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
Released in 1954, this pillar of the fantasy genre has sold copies in excess of 150 million.
4. Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince
A book exploring the perils of aging and love, The Little Prince’s 140 million sales have seen the title translated in to over 300 different dialects and languages.
5. K. Rowling’s’ Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
J.K. Rowling is one of the most prolific authors in recent memory, weaving tales of heroism and magic in this series telling of the adventures of a gifted wizard studying sorcery at a school devoted to teaching learners about spellworking.
With 120 million copies sold, this first installment, also known as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, enchanted readers young and old.
6. R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit
In his second appearance on this list, this relatively brief novel by Tolkien sets the stage for The Lord of the Rings.
We meet Bilbo Baggins in this title, which has sold more than 100 million copies since being published in 1937, and follow him as he sets off on a treasure hunt that changes life for everyone.
7. Cao Xueqin’s Dream of the Red Chamber
Another entry from long ago, Dream of the Red Chamber has sold over 100 million copies since it was published in 1754. Also known as The Story of the Stone, Dream of the Red Chamber is held to be one of China’s Four Great Classical Novels.
The story tells of two branches of a moneyed family and details their ultimate downfall. It as intended to mirror the rise and fall of the Qing dynasty, founded by the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan in Manchuria, and extending from 1636 through to 1912.