Paper books have been around for centuries, but they’ve never gone out of style. In fact it would seem that the opposite is true even though more people are turning to ebooks and audiobooks instead!
In spite this shift in consumption patterns from physical media like paperbacks or hardcovers towards downloads on devices such as Kindles (or even Apps), these fifteen best-selling novels still sell strong across countries all over world – proving there’s something about having an actual solid object between us which bonds the reader and writer together: no matter how old we get…we want our stories close at hand.
15 Best-Selling Books of All Time
Here they are – the fifteen all-time bestseller books, many of which have been made into movies or television series (or both), that continue to enthrall new generations of fans:
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
First published in 1605, Don Quixote is often credited as the first modern novel. It follows the story of Alonso Quixano, a middle-aged gentleman from La Mancha in Spain who goes mad after reading too many chivalric romances and decides to become a knight-errant himself, much to the dismay of those around him.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities was published in 1859 and is set during the time of the French Revolution. It tells the story of two men – one from London, the other from Paris – who are both raised in very different worlds but whose lives become intertwined as the novel progresses.
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
This fantasy epic was originally published in three parts between 1954 and 1955, with The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King making up the trilogy. The story follows a group of hobbits as they journey across Middle-earth to destroy a powerful ring before it can be used by the Dark Lord Sauron to enslave all races.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
A prequel to The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit was published in 1937 and follows the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who is unexpectedly drawn into an epic quest to help a group of dwarves reclaim their lost kingdom.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling
The first book in the Harry Potter series was published in 1997 and follows the story of young wizard Harry Potter as he attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, makes close friends and powerful enemies, and uncovers the truth about his family.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Published in 1939, And Then There Were None is one of Christie’s most famous novels and is considered a classic of crime fiction. The story follows a group of ten strangers who are invited to an island off the coast of Devon, only to find that their host has accused them all of murder.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Count of Monte Cristo was first published in 1844 and tells the story of Edmond Dantès, a young man who is falsely accused of treason and imprisoned without trial. He eventually escapes and sets out to exact revenge on those who have wronged him.
The Lion, the With and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The first book in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia series was published in 1950 and follows the story of four children who find a magical wardrobe that transports them to the world of Narnia. There they must help the lion Aslan defeat the evil White Witch.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The Little Prince was first published in 1943 and is a philosophical tale about a pilot who crashed his plane in the Sahara Desert and meets a young prince who has fallen to Earth from his own asteroid. Together they explore life, love, and loss.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye was first published in 1951 and follows the story of Holden Caulfield, a teenage boy who is kicked out of a prestigious boarding school and becomes a wanderer in New York City. The novel is set over the course of three days and chronicles Holden’s encounters with various people as he tries to make sense of his life.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Published in 1988, The Alchemist tells the story of Santiago, a shepherd boy from Spain who dreams of traveling to Egypt in search of treasure. Along the way he meets an alchemist who helps him to discover his true destiny.
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
The Da Vinci Code was published in 2003 and follows the story of symbologist Robert Langdon as he tries to solve a murder mystery that leads him to uncover a secret society that has been protecting a powerful secret for centuries.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice was first published in 1813 and is one of Austen’s most famous novels. The story follows the lives of the Bennet sisters, who are all trying to find husbands, against the backdrop of English society in the early 19th century.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960 and is set during the Great Depression in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama. The story focuses on Atticus Finch, a white lawyer who defends a black man accused of raping a white woman, and his children Scout and Jem.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was first published in 1892 and is a collection of twelve short stories that feature the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. The stories are set in Victorian England and showcase Holmes’s deductive abilities as he solves a variety of mysteries.