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.
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.
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.
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
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).
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.