Well, the first place was not given to the books about Harry Potter (and neither the Bible), though many fans of Harry Potter believe by mistake that books about a young magician with a magic wand are on the leading place in the world’s literature. In fact, J. K. Rowling’s works are on the fifth place in the rating of the most popular books of all the times. Which works are situated on the rest of position?
While making up the books rating, we took into consideration their translations into other languages, as well as the amount of publishings and their copies were sold throughout the world.
Here are ten most popular books of the world:
- The Quran (3 billion copies) is the centralreligious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a revelation from God (Arabic: ?????, Allah). Its scriptural status among a world-spanning religious community, and its major place within world literature generally, have led to a great deal of secondary literature on the Quran. Quranic chapters are called suras and verses are called ayahs.
- The Bible (2,5 billion copies) is a collection of textssacred in Judaism and Christianity. There is no single “Bible” and many Bibles with varying contents exist. Various religious traditions have produced different recensions with different selections of texts. These do largely overlap however, creating an important common core.
- “Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung” (800 million) is a book of selected statements from speeches and writings by Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung), the former Chairman of the Communist Party of China, published from 1964 to about 1976 and widely distributed during the Cultural Revolution. The most popular versions were printed in small sizes that could be easily carried and were bound in bright red covers, becoming commonly known in the West as the Little Red Book. It is considered to be one of the most printed books in history.
- “Don Quixote” by Miguel Cervantes Saavedra (500 million). Published in two volumes, in 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote is considered one of the most influential works of literature from the Spanish Golden Ageand the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature and one of the earliest canonical novels, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published, such as the Bokklubben World Library collection that cites Don Quixote as authors’ choice for the “best literary work ever written”. It follows the adventures of a nameless hidalgo who reads so many chivalric romances that he loses his sanity and decides to set out to revive chivalry, undo wrongs, and bring justice to the world, under the name Don Quixote.
- Books about Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling (450 million) is a series of sevenfantasy novels. The series chronicles the adventures of a young wizard, Harry Potter, the titular character, and his friends Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry’s quest to overcome the Dark wizard Lord Voldemort, who aims to become immortal, conquer the wizarding world, subjugate non-magical people, and destroy all those who stand in his way, especially Harry Potter.
- “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens (200 million) is a novel set inLondon and Paris before and during the French Revolution. The novel depicts the plight of the French peasantry demoralised by the French aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, the corresponding brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats in the early years of the revolution, and many unflattering social parallels with life in London during the same period. It follows the lives of several characters through these events.
- “The Lord of the Rings” by J. R. R. Tolkien (150 million copies). The title of the novel refers to the story’s mainantagonist, the Dark Lord Sauron, who had in an earlier age created the One Ring to rule the other Rings of Power as the ultimate weapon in his campaign to conquer and rule all of Middle-earth. From quiet beginnings in the Shire, a hobbit land not unlike the English countryside, the story ranges across Middle-earth, following the course of the War of the Ring through the eyes of its characters, the hobbits Frodo Baggins, Samwise “Sam” Gamgee, Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck and Peregrin “Pippin” Took, but also the hobbits’ chief allies and travelling companions: the Men Aragorn son of Arathorn, a Ranger of the North, and Boromir, a Captain of Gondor; Gimli son of Gloin, a Dwarf warrior; Legolas Greenleaf, an Elvenprince; and Gandalf, a Wizard.
- “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (140 million). The novella is the 3rd most-translated book in the world and was voted the best book of the 20th century in France. Translated into more than 250 languages and dialects (as well asBraille), selling nearly two million copies annually.
- “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll (100 million copies) tells of a girl namedAlice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as with children. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre. Its narrativecourse and structure, characters and imagery have been enormously influential in both popular culture and literature, especially in the fantasy genre.
- “Dream of the Red Chamber” by Cao Xueqin (100 million) is believed to be semi-autobiographical, mirroring the rise and decay of author Cao Xueqin’s own family and, by extension, of the Qing Dynasty. As the author details in the first chapter, it is intended to be a memorial to the damsels he knew in his youth: friends, relatives and servants. The novel is remarkable not only for its huge cast of characters and psychological scope, but also for its precise and detailed observation of the life and social structures typical of 18th-century Chinese aristocracy.