Hit Parade

Drum roll, lease! And now, to intrigue and inspire us, here’s a list of the 10 top best-selling novels of all time – at least according to counting experts at The Guardian and The New York Times:

#1   Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Year released: 1612         Copies sold: 500 million

#2   A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Year released: 1859         Coies sold: 200 million

#3   The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein

Year released: 1954        Copies sold: 150 million

#4   The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exuper

Year released: 1943        Copies sold: 140 million

#5   Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Year released: 1997         Copies sold: 120 million

#6   And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Year released: 1939         Copies sold: 100 million

#7   The Hobbit by J. R.R. Tolkein

Year released: 1937        Copies sold: 100 million

#8   Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin

Year released: 1954         Copies sold: 100 million

#9   Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Year released: 1865         Copies sold: 100 million

#10   The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Year released: 1950      Copies sold: 85 million

Mind-boggling, isn’t it, to think that Don Quixote, which tops this list, was written more than 400 years ago! And that most of these books are considered children’s stories, but are universally beloved. Something to ponder — and aspire to! — as we all write on.

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About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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2 Responses to Hit Parade

  1. Toby says:

    Well, a book is just a book; meaning, there’re lots of other books in the library. I just say, to be mildly serious, that if the list included famous Yiddish books, my number read would be way up: I was raised on Yiddish literature. By the time I was reading English books, I was past children’s books I guess. And although I admire J.K. Rowling enormously, it’s for her as a person–have’t read single Harry Potter–nor are they on my list. Another tidbit of strangeness: I currently have on my DVR a copy of the movie “Tale of Two Cities,” because I recently read that it’s very good. I admit I’ve stayed away from Dickens with intent ever since I read how he treated his wife.(Did he drive her himself in some wheelbarrow to the madhouse?)
    Now. I have a serious suggestion, Karin. Why don’t your loyal followers (me included) each make up a list of his or her idea of the book no one should die without having read?

  2. Hi Toby,

    I know what you mean — I always take these lists with a huge grain of salt. Still, it’s fun to see what people come up with. Love, love your idea of asking readers to come up with their own lists of
    books they adore and feel others would, too. OK, Toby, what are your top 10 and why? If you share them, I’ll create a post and invite others to do the same.

    Write on,
    Karin

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