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Books that have sold over 50 million copies

  • #9. 紅樓夢/红楼梦 (Dream of the Red Chamber)

    Author: Cao Xueqin
    Year published: 1754–1791
    Approximate sales: 100 million

    Considered one of China’s four great classical novels, the "Dream of The Red Chamber" is considered semi-autobiographical of both the author and the Qing Dynasty. Officially published in 1791, the book inspired a formed a field of study specifically dedicated to the novel dubbed "Redology."

  • #8. Alice in Wonderland

    Author: Lewis Carroll
    Year published: 1865
    Approximate sales: 100 million

    This classic tale has been a worldwide best-seller for over 150 years. The novel follows the young protagonist Alice as she falls down a magical rabbit's hole into a vivid fantasy land of mad hatters, talking caterpillars, and grinning Cheshire cats. The novel has sold over 100 million copies and has inspired several blockbuster film adaptations.

  • #7. The Hobbit

    Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
    Year published: 1937
    Approximate sales: 100 million

    Released to both critical and commercial acclaim in 1937, "The Hobbit" has continued to be a mainstay in modern children's literature. The book has sold over 100 million copies and continues to find worldwide success, eventually adapted into a blockbuster film series paired with "Lord of the Rings" that has become one of the highest-grossing film series of all time.

  • #6. And Then There Were None

    Author: Agatha Christie
    Year published: 1939
    Approximate sales: 100 million

    Prolific English author Agatha Christie is listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling novelist of all time, selling over 2 billion books. She wrote 66 detective novels, but her most acclaimed work is "And Then There Were None," which has sold over 100 million copies.

  • #5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

    Author: J. K. Rowling
    Year published: 1997
    Approximate sales: 120 million

    The first novel in the famed Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone" is by far the most commercially successful, having sold over 120 million copies worldwide. The novel follows Harry as he discovers his magical powers through his first year at Hogwarts.

  • #4. Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince)

    Author: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    Year Published: 1943
    Approximate Sales: 140 million

    Author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote "The Little Prince" while living in North America as a refugee of the Second World War. The book, which has become one of the best-selling books of all time, follows a stranded pilot and a young prince who is visiting earth from outer space. Not only did Saint-Exupery write the book, but he also painted the watercolor illustrations featured in the story.

  • #3. The Lord of the Rings

    Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
    Year published: 1954–1955
    Approximate sales: 150 million

    The sequel to "The Hobbit’s" blockbuster success, "The Lord of The Rings" is a monumental work. In 2003 the BBC named "The Lord of The Rings" the best-loved British novel of all time.

  • #2. A Tale of Two Cities

    Author: Charles Dickens
    Year published: 1859
    Approximate sales: 200 million

    This classic piece of literature tells the story of a French doctor who is imprisoned during the French Revolution and the struggle he faces upon his subsequent release. Dickens’ classic was published in 1859 and has become a mainstay in the literary classic canon. The novel’s opening line “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” has become iconic amongst literature fans.

  • #1. Don Quixote

    Author: Miguel de Cervantes
    Year published: 1605
    Approximate sales: 500 million

    Taking top honor with over 500 million copies sold is Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s "Don Quixote." Following the adventures of the Spanish noble Don Quixote, the book is a mixture of adventure and wit. It is considered the de facto novel of the Spanish Golden Age and was named the author’s choice for "Best Literary Work Ever Written" by the Bokklubben World Library.

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