One of the most common questions that boggle the minds of readers and book lovers the world over has to do with the best books of all time, the top books.
We just want to know the identity of these special books. We wonder what they look like, what they’re about, and how many copies were ever sold?
Unfortunately, the answers to these questions are not to be found on the bestseller list of your local bookstore, but no worries. In this article, we answer all these questions for you.
The 31 Best Books Of All Time
Now, we’ll take a look at a list and summary of the 31 of the best books of all time. Some of these books have been bestsellers for hundreds of years and almost all have been made into world-famous movies!
The list was originally ranked by lovereading.co.uk based on the number of known editions, number of translations, and number of unit copies sold around the world regardless of time or period. However, we modified a few things and added the summaries for each book based on our own research.
Our list now begins from the greatest to the least best books ever.
1. The Holy Quran
Strangely enough, the holy book of Islam, “The Holy Quran“, pipes its Christain counterpart, The Christain Bible, to the top spot on this list for the first time in more than 500 years. The Holy Quran secured this position after selling over 3 billion copies worldwide.
2. The King James Version Of The Holy Bible
The problem with the Holy Bible and why it has lost the first position on this list is that there are too many versions of it, hence, statistics are split in too many directions.
Combined, the Holy Bible outsells the Quran as it has done for centuries, but split up, only The King James Version Of the Holy Bible, the earliest translation of the Holy Bible into English, makes it to this list and it comes in as the second-best book of all time with a staggering 2.5 billion figure in sales worldwide.
3. The Malleus Maleficarum
The Malleus Maleficarum, translation: The Hammer of Witches, is the most renowned and most thorough theory on witchcraft. We even cite it in an article here on our website.
First published in Speyer, Germany, in 1487 by the German Catholic priest Heinrich Kramer (using the Latin version of his name Henricus Institoris), this book promotes the extermination of witches and was published at a time when witchcraft was epidemic in Catholic-controlled Europe. It spent over 200 years at the top of the bestseller list of all bookstores throughout Europe and was second only to the Holy Bible in sales. Unfortunately, the Inquisition condemned this book as not being in line with Catholic principles and disgraced its author. The book subsequently went into oblivion.
4. Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung
This book, Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (Mao Zedong) may not be known to many in western lands today, but it was something of a bible to more than a billion Asians, most of whom lived in China.
Chairman Mao Tes-Tung was the leader of the Chinese communist party that ruled China around the middle part of the 20th century and his word was
5. Don Quixote
The book, Don Quixote, published by the Spaniard Miguel de Cervantes in 1604, has been hailed as the first modern novel for centuries. It revolves around the life of a Spanish knight who lived centuries ago when the military might of Spain was a force to be reckoned with.
This book put an end to the funny (kind of poetic) way in whcih novels were written in the past and brought realism to characters.
Total number of copies sold, 500 million, which puts it on the list of the best books ever.
6. Harry Potter Series
The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling is a novel and movie series that needs no introduction, that’s if you are a kid living in the US or the UK. The story is all about the magic and sorcery which revolves around an 11-year-old boy with two dead wizards as parents and magical powers of his own.
This novel series has sold over 450 million copies and remains a bestseller to this day. It is without a doubt one the best books of all time.
7. A Tale of Two Cities
A Tale of Two Cities, by the great Charles Dickens, comes in at 6th position with no less than 200 million copies sold worldwide.
This novel has to do with the famous French Revolution, an event that saw the French people kill off their king and nobles to gain freedom and France become a republic
It’s a classic, with historical value to the French, and so remains one of the best books of all time.
8. The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings, by JRR
The future of that world depends on one ring which has been missing for centuries and powerful forces will stop at nothing to find it. Fate lies with young Frodo Baggins and to him, legend becomes.
This book has sold over 150 million copies.
9. Le Petit Prince
Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, translated into English as The Little Prince is yet another children’s book on this list.
It’s a story about a man who learned adults were not that smart as a kid and grew up to become a pilot who crash-lands his plane in a desert and, there, meets a boy who asks for some childish things including the drawing of a sheep. This is the sort of book kids love and it’s sold over 140 million copies till date.
10. Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, is another children’s book on the list. It’s about a little girl, Alice, who has vague memories of visiting a magical land as she grows into teenage-hood. One day, at her engagement party, she spots a funny looking rabbit and goes after him only to fall down a mysterious hole into magical
Total sales worldwide – 100 million copies. It’s still one of the best selling books of all time.
11. Dream of the Red Chamber
Dream of the Red Chamber, a Chines novel published by Cao Xueqin in 1791, was a hit from day one.
Divided into episodes, this is a record of the lives of two different branches of the Jia clan, a vastly wealthy aristocratic family in 18th century China.
Number of copies sold – 100 million.
12. And Then There Were None
And Then There Were None, published in the 1930s by British author Agatha Christie, this book ranks as the #1 bestselling mystery novel of all time.
Eight different people are invited to an isolated island by mysterious hosts and there, each gets accused of murder in the most bizarre manner. Then comes the killing; they are killed one after the other.
There eight guests and then there were none.
This novel has sold over 100 million copies.
13. The Hobbit
The Hobbit, by JRR Tolkien, is one of my favorite novels when it comes to magic and adventure.
A hobbit living a simple life in the shire gets convinced by a wizard to join some dwarves on a quest to reclaim a lost kingdom. The journey takes them into treacherous lands swarming with all kinds of terrible creatures. At the heart of the whole thing is a gold ring that is connected to the fate of Middle Earth in strange ways.
This wonderful book has sold over 100 million copies. Not only is it one of the best books of all time, but it’s also a top movie series.
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