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Direct from the Internet Public Library, with caveat: "When we get asked these questions about bestselling books, we always have to remind our patrons that their question is basically unanswerable. Probably the most often cited estimates come from a book titled "The Top 10 of Everything" by Russell Ash. The Top Five Bestselling Books of All Time: 1. The Bible "No one really knows how many copies of the Bible have been printed, sold, or distributed. The Bible Society´s attempt to calculate the number printed between 1816 and 1975 produced the figure of 2,458,000,000. A more recent survey, for the years up to 1992, put it closer to 6,000,000,000 in more than 2,000 languages and dialects. Whatever the precise figure, the Bible is by far the bestselling book of all time." 2. Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Little Red Book) "Chairman Mao´s Little Red Book could scarcely fail to become a bestseller: between the years 1966 and 1971 it was compulsory for every Chinese adult to own a copy." 3. American Spelling Book by Noah Webster "First published in 1783, this reference book by the American man of letters Noah Webster (1758-1843) remained a bestseller in the U.S. throughout the 19th century." 4. The Guinness Book of Records "First published in 1955, The Guinness Book of Records stands out as the greatest contemporary publishing achievement. There have now been 37 editions in the UK alone (it was not published annually until 1964), as well as numerous foreign-language editions." 5. The McGuffey Readers by William Holmes McGuffey "Published in numerous editions from 1853, some authorities have put the total sales of these educational textbooks, originally compiled by American anthologist William Holmes McGuffey (1800-73), as high as 122,000,000. It has also been claimed that 60,000,000 copies of the 1879 edition were printed, but - since this is some 10,000,000 more than the entire population of the U.S. at that time - the publishers must have been extremely optimistic about its success." If you wish, there is also a list of bestselling fiction on this page: Bestselling Fiction
|Sheri Ann Richerson|