What Has Gutenberg Pressed Us into Reading?

The best selling books of all time, according to Wikipedia, or those that have sold more than 100 million copies (History seems to lean toward religion and China):

  1. The Bible (All Versions) – Somewhere between 2.5 and 6 billion
  2. Quotations from Chairman Mao by Mao Zedong – 800 million to 6.5 billion
  3. Xinhua Zidian (Dictionary), edited by Wei Jiangong – 400 million
  4. Chairman Mao’s Poems by Mao Zedong – 400 million
  5. Selected Articles of Mao Zedong – 252.5 million
  6. The Qur’an – 200 million
  7. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – 200 million
  8. Scouting for Boys: A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship by Robert Baden-Powell – 150 million
  9. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien – 150 million
  10. The Book of Mormon – 120 million
  11. The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life (Jehovah’s Witnesses) – 107 million
  12. On the Three Representations by Jiang Zemin – 100 million
  13. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie – 100 million
  14. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien – 100 million
  15. Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Zueqin – 100 million

Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg - 1398 to 1468


5 responses to “What Has Gutenberg Pressed Us into Reading?

  1. I wonder where Gone with the Wind falls in there. It has to be pretty close (or not, I just checked). I need to buy some more copies of that book. 🙂

    I was happy to see Dickens up there and Tolkien had two spots!
    How many millions of copies of GWTW are you planning to purchase? Will that be your next giveaway?

  2. Eh..I’ve read 5 of these books. Does it count that I’ve read the #1 many mulitples of times?

    I just realized that I’ve never read an Agatha Christie novel. How can that be? That makes no sense at all. I must remedy that asap.

    Ooh…and I bet #8 is actually pretty interesting reading.

    This list is about sales, so it only counts if you are buying it – you don’t actually have to read it.

  3. Oops…I’ve only read 2 of these and I haven’t even finished all of #1. I’ve read the Hobbit and I have the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, just haven’t finished reading it all, either. Like a previous commenter, I haven’t read an Agatha Christie yet. Maybe I should branch out and try one.

    Branch=tree=paper=book, it seems logical.

  4. Does it count if you buy them from a used book store? 🙂

    …or ebooks?

  5. That’s an interesting idea, Don! Note to GWTW book publishers – let’s start printing those books. I’ll be needing 100 million copies pronto! 😉

    Wow, a big budget contest. Do you work for the government? (kidding)

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