The Stew has spent considerable time and space reporting on continued efforts by religious and political extremists to ban works of literature that don’t fit their narrow puritanical world view. We thought it only fair that we report on the positive side of this issue and point to evidence that people still take the time to reach an actual book — the kind that doesn’t require downloading or recharging.
Visual artist Jared Fanning has compiled this infographic (see below) of the “Top 10 Most Read Books in the World” based on total sales over the past fifty years. As Jared points out:
“The figures show the number of books printed and sold but does not take into account multiple readings of the same book.
“There are a few book titles that have had more copies printed than some of these books, but a vast number of those books were not sold, which of course means that they did not get read.”
[Side Stew -- Read: Top Ten Censored Books]
As sales for titles like “The Twilight Saga” and “Harry Potter” level out over time, older and more classic titles will regain their rightly position in the top ten, while newer (more worthy?) titles also find their way into the top listing.
The following books rank just below the top ten, but due to strong sales over a long period of time, most of these will find a place in the “most read” list soon:
- The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
- The Catcher in the Rye
- The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity
- Graves in the Wilderness