Archive for November, 2008

Most Popular Books

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

This may come as a surprise for you but, back in the old days, people used to read books. They were made out of paper and cardboard or something. Sometimes they had pictures, but people would make fun of you for reading those. More often they were just words on paper.

Of course, in the old days we also fought dinosaurs with sharpened rocks.

Basically, people who read books are savages.

Now that we got that out of the way, take a look at the most popular books of all time.

World's most popular book - A Tale of Two Cities

5. Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

Copies sold: 200 million

Victorians, were known for pioneering, the usage of, the comma—and the dash. Dickens was known for his humor but, strangely enough, nobody thought this book about the years leading up to the French Revolution was funny.

World's most popular book - Qur'an

4. Allah (featuring Muhammed and the Angel Gabriel) – The Qur’an (around 610-632)

Copies sold: 200 million

The rich and powerful never have to do anything for themselves. This is just as true for the omnipotent as the fabulously wealthy. That’s why, when Allah wanted to write his book, he had his people talk to our people. They had lunch. Then they wrote the third most popular book of all time.

World's most popular book - Xinhua Dictionary

3. Various Artists – The Xinhua Dictionary (1957)

Copies sold: 400 million

Why is a dictionary the third most popular book of all time? It might have something to do with the fact that Chinese has about as many characters as China has people—and China has a lot of
people.

World's most popular book - Quotations from Chairman Mao

2. Chairman Mao – Quotations from Chairman Mao (1964)

Copies sold: Somewhere between 800 million and 6.5 billion

Distributed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution in which Chinese citizens were all but officially required to carry a copy of the book at all times, the book sometimes acted as a Get Out of a Beating Free card. Mao Zedong was also responsible for Chairman Mao’s Poems (400 million copies) and Selected Articles of Mao Zedong (another 400 million).

World's most popular book - Bible

1. God (featuring a bunch of other guys) – Bible (1 BC – 1 CE)

Copies sold: 2.5 – 6 billion

The most popular book of all time (unless you actually believed that Quotations sold 6 billion copies), Bible is the tale of a ragtag group of holy men and their scrappy leader taking on the world in the name of God. At least, part of it is. There’s also a bit about the apocalypse and seals and horsemen. Being over 2,000 years old, it had a head start on all the other books on the list. Some might call that an unfair advantage, but those people are all losers.

Most Popular Song on iTunes

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Most Popular Song on iTunes - Journey's

In the 7 years since its release, iTunes has become one of the most used media players in the world. This is in no small part due to iTunes’ proprietary relationship with the iPod. Another factor is the iTunes store, one of the first retail sources of downloadable media.

A recent Soundscan report has revealed the first track to exceed 2 million sales through iTunes. Of course, such a track would need to be a timeless classic, but not too timeless—old people don’t have iPods, right? It would need to be something released within the last ten years or so with both the musical acumen and lyrical genius to appeal to both teenage girls and aging hipsters.

Of course, it could also be Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”

I can only attribute this phenomenon to the Sopranos series finale in which the song was featured. It certainly isn’t so popular based on its own merit.

Right?

Right?