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The Top 100 Bestselling Books of All Time


The good news: The Guardian’s list of Top 100 Bestselling Books of All-Time (in the UK) is interesting, and full of unexpected titles.

The not so good news is that it may depress you a little – there is a whole lot of Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey and Da Vinci Code type stuff loitering up near the top. But it is still fascinating to read. I found the regional differences especially noteworthy – Delia Smith’s How to Cook, for instance, is #60, whereas on this side of the pond, I would wager most people haven’t even heard her name. The Guardian also acknowledge that due to consolidation error, the data is problematic:

But is it right? Proving sales across platforms independently is very difficult as there are so many outlets. Nielsen Bookscan, which collects the retail sales information from point of sale systems in more than 31,500 bookshops around the world, does not provide collated sales across e-books and physical books, which means we’ are reliant on publishers.

So, bearing that in mind, Nielsen have given us their top 100 list of all-time Uk book sales. It shows volumes of each book, its publisher and genre.

You’ll notice that none of the Fifty Shades books are at #1.

…but keep in mind, they’ve just been published, and this list goes back much further. I suspect they’ll keep climbing a while longer yet.

Here are the top 15 – click through to the Guardian for all 100.

1. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
4. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling
5. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
9. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
10. Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince by JK Rowling
11. Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James
12. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
13. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
14. Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James
15. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

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Beth Carswell

About Beth Carswell

I've been reading, selling, researching, loving and writing about books with AbeBooks since 2000.

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