Topping the Charts

I found myself idly wondering this morning what the most popular book of all time was. I did a Google search, and listed the ten most popular, so I checked it out. They freely admit that their stats are only on books with available sales figures, but their list still provides a general idea of what folks have preferred. Here it is:*

10.In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do?In His Steps: “What Would Jesus Do?”
Author: Rev. Charles Monroe Sheldon
Copies sold: 28,500,000

9. Go to "Valley of the Dolls" page Valley of the Dolls
Author: Jacqueline Susann
Copies sold: 30,000,000

8. Go to "Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care: 8th Edition" page The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care
Author: Dr. Benjamin Spock
Copies sold: 39,200,000

7. Thumbnail for World Almanac and... The World Almanac
Author: Who knows?
Copies sold: 40,000,000

6. Go to "A Message to Garcia: And Other Essential Writings on Success" page A Message to Garcia
Author: Elbert Hubbard
Copies sold: 40-50,000,000

5. Go to "McGuffey's Eclectic Readers/Boxed" page The McGuffey Readers
Author: William Holmes McGuffey
Copies sold: 60,000,000

4. Go to "Guinness World Records 2010: Thousands of new records in The Book of the Decade!" page The Guinness Book of Records
Author: Who knows?
Copies sold: 81,000,000

3. The American spelling book: containing the rudiments of the English language for the use of schools in the United StatesAmerican Spelling Book
Author: Noah Webster
Copies sold: 100,000,000

2. Go to "Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung" page Quotations from the Works of Mao Tse-tung
Author: Mao Tse-tung
Copies sold: 800,000,000

1. The Holy Bible King James Version: King James VersionThe Bible
Author: God
Copies sold: 6,000,000,000

What I find interesting is that only one of the books would be categorized as fiction.** Reference books, religious works, “how to” manuals and dogma all outrank the imagination for supplying a good read. That Valley of the Dolls must be some book!

*To see the complete annotation, go to their website.

**For those of you who — like me — have never heard of A Message to Garcia, it is a motivational true story.



Filed under Critical Thinking, Miscellaneous, Reading, Uncategorized

5 responses to “Topping the Charts

  1. That is interesting. I don’t believe I’ve ever read Valley of the Dolls. I do remember the movie. 🙂 I also remember part of a movie about Jacqueline Susann. Thought provoking post.

  2. layinda,

    That was a very unique list. Not at all what I expected, except the Bible. I’ve never read the Valley of the Dolls, nor had I heard about A Message to Garcia.

    In fact, I’ve only ever read the world’s records (children’s version) and the Bible. Apparently the rest of the world is more well read than I am!

    Thanks for the fun post.

  3. Interesting list. I’ve never read Valley of the Dolls either.

  4. That’s cool. I love interesting tidbits like that. What feels sort of crazy is that I haven’t even heard of some of those. Out of curiosity–are those American figures or around the whole world?

    • That’s a good question, Jean. I looked on their website, and it seems to be the worldwide sales of books that were written in (or at least translated into) English.

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