The Ten Most *Sold* Books in the World

September 28, 2012 § 4 Comments

While I object to the misleading title of this infographic (as well as some other specifics), I still think it’s pretty interesting and worth sharing.

To elaborate on what I find objectionable: just because a book has more copies sold, does not necessarily mean more people have read those books. For example, it’s not unusual for a family to own multiple copies of the Bible, while ever member of a family might not have a personal copy of Gone With the Wind, even if they’ve all read it. That could also skew up the perceived readership of books like Harry Potter where some families bought two copies (or more) of the book so they could read it at the same time.
On which subject, what book are they evaluating when they say “Harry Potter” or “The Lord of the Rings” or “The Twilight Saga”? Does it count total sales for the series? If so, a book like The Alchemist would be more read than any single Harry Potter book (as 400 million divided amongst seven books is only [pssh, “only”] 57 million books apiece).

I could go on, but you get the point. All that said, I still think it’s interesting to see. The Alchemist has moved way up my “to read” list.

As an aside, Hello! It’s been a long time and I’m rather happy to be back. The break was necessary for me as I was reassessing priorities in life. Blogging time was coming directly out of my writing time which, once I stepped back and got a little perspective, didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Hopefully this is the beginning of a new season of blogging for me–assuming I can strike a better balance with it– so check in again sometime relatively soon. As always, thanks for stopping by!


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§ 4 Responses to The Ten Most *Sold* Books in the World

  • Good to see you around again! I had recently thought about how it had been awhile since reading one of your posts.
    The infographic is very interesting. I wonder about their methodology. I mean, really, Twilight as one of the top sellers in the last 50 years?

    • R. H. Culp says:

      Thanks, Cap’n. It’s good to be back. I also really wanted to look at their methodology. There were some books in the top ten that surprised me and then others that weren’t that surprised me by their absence. I think I’m going to have to look a bit more closely into it to satisfy my curiosity. If I find anything interesting I’ll post it.

  • Interesting. I hadn’t realised The Da Vinci Code was so high up there actually. Is 50 Shades going to find a place on there next time I wonder…

    • R. H. Culp says:

      It surprised me too. The list left me with mixed feelings about the kinds of books that people buy because on one hand people are reading Gone With the Wind and on the other hand, Twilight. I just take it as motivation to encourage more people to read good books.

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