There is no way to objectively know the most popular books in world history, but the following infographic (from gives a good guess based on estimated editions, translations, and copies sold.

Note: Jane Austen’s name is misspelled as “Jane Austin” here.

infographic popular books

19 Responses

    • Matt

      Agreed. How do you possibly make this infographic and only list only one translation of the Bible? It is The (Capitalized) most popular book of all time and any infographic on the topic is non-credible for not making that point abundantly clear. If not for that blatantly missing piece, it would be great!

      • mar

        why not read TIME magazine’s top ten list of everything in 2009
        the bible has more than 6 billon copies that landed on the number spot 1 while Communist Mao Tze tong ‘s writing only came second with 900 millon copies…
        Time is one of pretigious publications and they don’t publish fictions figure or informations I believe

  1. Erik

    Great infographic!

    Not to be terribly pedantic, but it’s “Jane Austen,” not “Jane Austin.”

  2. Pip

    Why isn’t the Bible on here? It’s translated into over 1000 languages, some with hundreds of editions and has sold untold numbers!

  3. Claudio Soares

    Lincoln, of course, The alchemist, by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, should be in that infographic. This book is for 8 years – without interruption – in the bestseller list of The New York Times and has been translated into more than 60 languages, with more than 65 million copies sold. Best regards.

  4. Krisz

    Well, I don’t like this IG, a chart would have been much better for the purpose. And I’ve watched a TED Talk where it was pointed out that “Fifty shades” managed to outsell the Holy Bible, so…

  5. This week in...: Volume 31 -

    […] of a couple of these). There’s this really cool infographic on Electric Literature with the most popular books of all time. Cracked had a post with the 8 creepiest identity theft cases of all time. And finally, this […]


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