When determining which have been the books that have sold the most copies throughout history, the task is not easy, especially considering the numerous editions and the year in which certain great works were published. Luckily, and based on estimates, we have the list of the best-selling books in history , including some classics and other perhaps not-so-expected titles.

Don Quixote de la Mancha, by Miguel de Cervantes

Number of copies sold: 500 million (estimate).

Despite being published in 1605, the most universal work of literature is also the best-selling. With more than 500 million copies sold throughout the world, the story of the famous nobleman from La Mancha who fought windmills that he took for giants confirms his influence beyond the seas and his timeless character, with hundreds of copies following and they keep multiplying.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Number of copies sold: 200 million.

When Dickens abandoned the stories of children and adolescents to address a historical episode such as the French Revolution, the public reacted massively. Tale of Two Cities talks about Paris and London in the 18th century, presenting them as the best example of the social antithesis: revolution and tranquility, rebellion and peace. First published in All the Year Round magazine in 1859, the novel reached a weekly distribution of 100,000 copies , leading to a mark that makes it the second best-selling book in history.

The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

Number of copies sold: 150 million.

Originally conceived as a direct sequel to his successful The Hobbit, Tolkien developed The Lord of the Rings into a much larger novel with a character of its own. Published in a year 1954 in which fantasy literature was not going through its best moment, Frodo Baggins’s quest to return the ring of power before terror was unleashed in Middle-earth spawned a cultural phenomenon that led to two other installments and in a film trilogy turned into a triumph.

The Little Prince, by Antoine Saint-Exupéry

Number of copies sold: 140 million.

The best-selling short book in history , published in 1943, has managed to age and transcend to new generations thanks to its universal message. The escapades of that blond boy who abandoned his asteroid in search of a better life and his discovery of other characters such as the geographer or the fox who represented a reality of today’s world has become a benchmark on shelves around the world.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Number of copies sold: 120 million.

The rest of the podium may be ahead of it in terms of publication date, but when it comes to numbers, both the first installment of Harry Potter and the rest of the saga are the most influential and best-selling works of our time . Written by JK Rowling , a single mother who roamed the cafes of Edinburgh looking for job offers, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone tells the story of the famous wizard with a scar that condemned him to face Lord Voldemort, the lord of evil from a magical and parallel world that for more than a decade caused a furor throughout the world , allowing children to put aside the video consoles to get lost among the letters.

The the Hobbit, by JRR Tolkien

Number of copies sold: 100 million.

After writing a story during the 1920s focused on entertaining his children, Tolkien published The Hobbit in 1937, a novel that would kick off that magical universe of Middle-earth that would dazzle lovers of fantastic literature in the middle of the century. XX. For posterity will remain the story of Bilbo Baggins and his adventure on the way to Erebor, whose treasure is guarded by the evil dragon Smaug , which was recently adapted to the cinema again by Peter Jackson.

Ten Little Niggers, by Agatha Christie

Number of copies sold: 100 million.

Although the original title of this 1939 work was changed to And there were none left after its publication in the United States, the best known as Ten little blacks is the best-selling novel by Agatha Christie , whose stories were consumed like hotcakes thanks to their ability to summon a suspense never before seen in the world of letters. Located on an island where ten people arrive who once fled from justice after causing a crime, the plot invokes the song Ten Little Indians at the same time that each of the visitors is killed by an unknown executioner. The play has been adapted for television, film and theater several times.

Dream of the Red Chamber, by Cao Xueqin

Number of copies sold: 100 million.

The best-selling work of Chinese literature is today a classic to discover when it comes to understanding the history of the eastern giant in the eighteenth century. Conceived as a semi-autobiographical work by Xuequin , a member of a Qing dynasty that descended into hell in the same century, this work is also a tribute to the women who were part of the protagonist’s life. Published in 1791, Dream of the Red Chamber is considered one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature along with Luo Guanzhong’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Shi Nai’an’s At the Water’s Edge and Journey to the West. of Wu Cheng’en.

Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

Number of copies sold: 100 million.

During a boat trip on the River Thames in 1862, the mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson began to tell stories to three little sisters that would lead to the creation of that nonsense world encompassed in Alice in Wonderland, published in 1865. Become one of those flagship books for young and old thanks to its metaphors and logic defiance, the journey that little Alice began after chasing the White Rabbit is today one of the most influential works in the history of literature .

Did you read any of the best-selling books in history?