Even if you're not an avid reader it's hard to get by without at least hearing about the books topping the bestseller lists. You may have heard of Where the Crawdads Sing, a novel by Delia Owens that has currently ranked on The New York Times Bestsellers fiction list for 79 weeks. Bestsellers are ranked by the number of copies sold, with a requirement of 5,000-10,000 copies a week in diverse sales to make the aforementioned New York Times Bestsellers list. Typically, SLPL can make it easier to snag a bestseller, with our non-holdable bestseller collection that rotates our locations allowing you to skip the holds list and grab a copy. With the city in isolation, however, it's time to get creative.
For your reading pleasure, and online accessibility needs, Center for the Reader has compiled a list of books that didn't just top The New York Times Bestseller list for the last 79 weeks...but are bestselling books of all time AND available for download to your device right now. There's no time like the present to download something good to read!
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
With 500 million copies sold, it's not surprise this two part Spanish novel, published in 1605 and 1615 tops the list of all-time bestsellers. Don Quixote is considered the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon, going on to inspire writers like Alexandre Dumas and Mark Twain-a great endorsement if you ask us, and it's available as an ebook!
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." and with 200 million copies sold, Dickens' work clocks in at #2 on our list. This may be a historical novel written back in 1859, but this classic still has plenty of relevance for the modern reader, in fact the Nolan brothers have stated the screenplay for The Dark Knight Rises (2012) was influenced by Dickens' dark portrayal of Paris. Good news! Copies of this novel are available in ebook or downloadable audiobook now!
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
This three-part tale comprised of: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, has sold 150 million copies. Written in 1954, this tale has gone on to break even more records with its film adaptation, gaining 30 Academy Award nominations and 17 wins. You can download the ebook copies of Tolkien's masterpiece on Libby or stream this film about the author and his works via HOOPLA!
The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
This 1943 children's book was published in New York simultaneously in English and French and has gone on to sell 140 million copies. This beautiful work of philosophy and poetry is a must read for all ages and is available as an ebook now.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Rowling's seven Harry Potter books each have their own place on the all-time bestsellers list (debuted in 1998 at #16 on the NYT Bestsellers list), but the first in the series has sold 107 million copies. Need we say more? Well, maybe to let you know it is available as both an ebook and downloadable audiobook!
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
You may be most familiar with Christie's Murder on the Orient Express but it's this novel that has sold 100 million copies. No worries, both are available as ebooks and downloadable audiobooks!
Dream of the Red Chamber by by Cao Xueqin
Written during the Qing dynasty, sometime in the 18th century, this classical Chinese novel has sold 100 million copies to date. An academic study, Redology, was developed for the purpose of researching The Dream of the Red Chamber as commentators, index, textual critics, and literary critics. SLPL has copies available as both ebook and downloadable audiobook.
She: A History of Adventure by H. Rider Haggard
One of the only items on this list that may not be familiar to you. Published in 1887, this "lost world" novel has sold 100 million copies. The novel notably explores the idea of female authority, with the titular character as the all powerful "She" or "She-who-must-be-obeyed." Checkout our ebook copy, or even our streaming audiobook!