• Harry Potter
  • "Gone with the Wind" at ~28 million copies sold worldwide. Some also argue that "Valley of the Dolls" surpasses GWTW. I have found sales figures for VOTD anywhere from 20 to 30 million copies sold. While sales figures for GWTW are consistently reported at ~28 million. Here are the figures for the six Harry Potter books: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Hardcover: 6.1 million Paperback: 10.9 million Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Hardcover: 7.1 million Paperback: 7.5 million Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Hardcover: 7.6 million Paperback: 5.2 million Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Hardcover: 8.9 million Paperback: 3.4 million Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Hardcover: 12.2 million Paperback: 1.5 million Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Hardcover: 10.8 million first print (released July 16 at 12:01 am) Paperback: (not yet released) "Gone with the Wind" also holds the record for highest grossing film of all-time. (inflation adjusted) The best selling author of all-time is Agatha Christie, who has sold over 2 billion copies of all of her various stories. The best selling non-fiction work of all-time is the Bible. Some estimate 6,000,000,000 printings. Interestingly enough the "Guiness Book of World Records" holds the record for all-time best selling book excluding ancient works such as the Bible and the Koran
  • "With over 12 million copies sold, Robert James Waller’s "The Bridges of Madison County" captivated the world—topping Gone with the Wind as the bestselling fiction book of all time."
  • There's no way to say what the best selling fiction book "of all time" is, since we don't have book sales figures for "all time." Even the figures we DO have are suspect, as they often represent the number of copies that were printed, rather than sold. (There are also many who think the best fiction of all time is the sales figures publishers come up with!) There's also the problem of tallying different editions and translations into other languages. Although for these reasons exact figures are hard to come by, J.R.R. Tolkein's story "The Lord of the Rings" is believed to have sold over 50 million copies. Those who haven't actually read the books may not realize that it's NOT a "series," but a single story that's generally published in three volumes. But even if you divide that sales figure by three, it's still a contender and should be on any list of "best selling fiction." The National Geographic special about the Lord of the Rings also indicated that it is the second most-read book of the 20th century, second only to the Bible. Scymitar72: I didn't cite my sources for the number of copies sold because those sources were several separate articles on various aspects of the LOTR, and the figures were mostly buried down towards the ends of articles that weren't relevant to the question. In situations like that, I generally don't cite sources, since if I did I would almost certainly get rated down for providing links that weren't on topic. Did you rate my answer poorly as a retaliation for my rating down John D's answer for not citing a source? Or were you perhaps thinking I should have followed my own advice? If so, you missed an important point: he posted a quote as his entire answer, whereas I went to some effort to dig out a reasonable figure for LOTR sales and took the time to draft and edit a reply. Lastly, if you're going to rate someone down, please don't add a smiley face. It doesn't make it better; it just makes it seem like you're sneering. It also makes me wonder why I spend the time and effort I do to provide thoughtful answers, just to get rated down for specious reasons.
    • mushroom
      When John Lennon said "[The Beatles are] more popular than Jesus," his opinion at the time was that the Beatles were more influential on young people than Christ.
  • I concur with David Hedrick. I would have to say the "Bible" .Though the book does have passages in it that are based on confirmed historical events.The majority of the book can only be viewed as a work of fiction as the stories are much too fantastic and supernatural in a time when almost anything could be attributed to being "divine" in occurance.To call it non-fiction with little or know evidence other than belief is a label made purely on religeous conviction. In line with this thinking, another consideration would have to be the "Koran" as it is my understanding that there are far more Muslims that populate the earth than Christians.
    • mushroom
      There are actually more Christians today than Muslims, however, that is expected to change during this century.
  • Depends on the point of view. Many would say the Bible is the best selling fictional book. Bach, Richard - Jonathan Livingstone Seagull followed by Blatty, William - The Exorcist. Each of those sold in excess of 10 million copies. Children’s books - Highest one-year sales for a book “series” -- The first three books in JK Cowling’s Harry Potter series sold 23 million books in 1999. It has been said that the most widely published fiction is publishers' own sales figures! There is no way to have an exact figure on the best selling fictional book of all time.
  • I agree with the Bible.
  • The Bible is not fiction; but that does not mean it has to be historically proven fact, and it is crass to think that there cannot be space between the two. The Bible is partly the tribal record of a small group of middle eastern Jewish tribes, partly that same tribe’s set of parables, laws and mythical tales and partly the latter day records of the life of a religious leader known in the West as Jesus Christ. All of these elements have moved beyond their original format and have become somewhat adapted to mythical structures and archetypes. Where it contains Truth, it comes in the form of metaphor, and when either atheist or religious zealots mistake metaphor for proposed fact they are wholly missing the point. Equally where it contains historical ‘truth’, it is simply because mythological story-telling has been built onto the backdrop of historical events (e.g. The Crucifixion). Mythological, or theological story-telling is about revealing deeper truths through tales and anecdotes that are not meant to be taken as pure fact (what would be the point?) they are meant to be interpreted and understood. While that may also be true of fiction, it is neither a necessary condition to call something fiction, nor is it sufficient.
    • mushroom
      Remember that the Jewish Bible, (Old Testament or Torah) was written at a time when kings routinely rewrote history in their favor and had it literally engraved in stone.
  • The bible, whether or not it is true, is not fiction. Why not keep it simple? The bible is a work of fiction. It talks about a god that doesn't exist, and you can take that fact to the bank.
  • I'd suspect that "Journey to the West" is the bestselling work of fiction. It has been very popular in Asia for over five hundred years and is still gaining popularity throughout the world. It was written in the 1590s during the Ming Dynasty in China, and has remained extremely popular in China ever since. In the last century, it became increasingly popular in many other Asian countries and has even started selling reasonably well in the West. There have been a number of movies made from it, several of which are in English including a SciFi Channel's TV adaptation. There's even a stage musical of it, called "Journey to the West: The Musical" -- Currently in development by the creators of Gorillaz, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, which received its world premiere at the New York Musical Theatre Festival on September 25, 2006. The book has been translated into just about every language including numerous English translations. It has also made appearances as comics, cartoons, children's books, board games, video games, toy figurines, plays, etc. Given the book's 500 years of popularity in the most populated areas of the planet, it wouldn't be unreasonable to assume sales of over one billion copies by now, and is still increasing in popularity as more readers in the western hemisphere are becoming more and more aware of it.
  • Can i just say that G-Diddy is wrong... the stats he has obtianed for the Harry Potter books only cover the first day of their release. The first Harry Potter book has actually sold 107 million copies... which is greatly different to those that he suggested. Check Wikipedias list of alltime best selling books.. I think that Harry Potter is the first fictional book on this list (after the bible and a few other dictionaries atc .. which arent fictional)
  • please delete this entry
  • I guess the bible - its total fiction.
  • Origin of Species? “The fool hath said in his heart, ‘There is no God.'”
    • mushroom
      God is a basis for human reasoning; evolution is a mechanism of change. There are estimated to be anywhere from 2-20 million species of insects, and more than 10 billion times the number of living insects than humans. Evolution of insects and bacteria has been observed; it simply takes longer to occur in more complex forms.
  • Alonso Quixana is an older gentleman who lives in La Mancha, in the Spanish countryside. He has read many of the books of chivalry and as a result, he has lost his wits, and he decides to roam the country as a knight-errant named Don Quixote de La Mancha. Neither his niece nor his housekeeper can stop him from riding his old horse, Rocinante, out into the country. Quixote's first sally ends quickly. He insists on having an innkeeper knight him into the chivalric order. Quixote believes that the inn is a castle. Returning home for clothes and money, Quixote is beaten and left for dead. A commoner rescues Quixote and brings him home.

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