The Ultimate Top-selling Books Quiz
by Staff
You say you're a voracious reader, but have you read the most popular books of all time? Take this quiz to find out what books have held the world's interest. (And find out why figuring out which books have sold the most is an inexact science.)

What book holds the Guinness World Record for best-selling book?

  • the Bible
  • the Odyssey
  • the Iliad

What's one reason that reported numbers of books sold are unreliable?

  • Certain publishers don't keep track of sales.
  • because they don't reflect sales from all history
  • Lots of publishers buy books from themselves.

What's another reason book sales aren't always totally accurate?

  • Libraries don't report what books they buy.
  • Publishers give the sales figures.
  • Sales figures aren't kept for religious texts.

Who was the first author to sell over a million ebooks?

  • Helen Fielding
  • Stephen King
  • James Patterson

What book's exact sales figures are a ballpark -- but probably belongs as a top seller -- for its perennial popularity?

  • "Don Quixote"
  • "Catcher in the Rye"
  • "War and Peace"

What book holds the distinction of selling the most copies in 24 hours?

  • "My Life," by Bill Clinton
  • "Twilight: Breaking Dawn"
  • "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"

What reference book is the best-selling of all time?

  • Webster's Dictionary
  • Xinhua Zidian
  • Roget's Thesaurus

What's the best-selling annual publication?

  • "Guinness World Records"
  • "Webster's Dictionary"
  • "Oxford English Dictionary"

What famous fantasy book is a top seller?

  • "Twilight"
  • "Battlefield Earth"
  • "The Lord of the Rings"

What's the youngest author of a best-selling book series?

  • Stephanie Meyer
  • J.K. Rowling
  • Christopher Paolini

What is the best-selling Harry Potter book?

  • "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"
  • "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's [Sorcerer's] Stone"
  • "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"

About how many copies has "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" sold?

  • 75 million copies
  • 50 million copies
  • 107 million copies

What book is the biggest-seller for an American author?

  • "The Stand"
  • "The Da Vinci Code"
  • "Eat Pray Love"

"Dream of the Red Chamber" is an 18th century book from what country?

  • China
  • Russia
  • India

What Depression-era self-help book became an sensation (and top seller)?

  • "Think and Grow Rich"
  • "Five Habits of Highly Effective People"
  • "How to Win Friends and Influence People"

What serialized book is a top seller?

  • "Oliver Twist"
  • "She: A History of Adventure"
  • "Les Miserables"

What famous mystery is a top seller?

  • "Murder, She Wrote"
  • "And Then There Were None"
  • "The Shining"

What French story takes a top spot on the list of best-sellers?

  • "Candide"
  • "In Search of Lost Time"
  • "The Little Prince"

"The Hobbit" is also a top seller. How many books was in its first printing?

  • 5,000
  • 10,000
  • 1,500

What Oxford academic gets a spot as a top-selling author?

  • C.S. Lewis
  • T.S. Eliot
  • Antonia Fraser

What children's book has been consumed by a ravenous public?

  • "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"
  • "A is for Alpaca"
  • "Goodnight Moon"

What doctor has a place on the top-selling list?

  • Dr. Spock
  • Dr. Oz
  • Dr. Phil

What book sold over nine million copies in the first 24 hours after it went on sale?

  • "Hard Choices"
  • "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"
  • "Dreams From My Father"

What favorite teen book has sold over 60 million copies?

  • "The Fault in Our Stars"
  • "The Perks of Being a Wallflower"
  • "Catcher in the Rye"

What author has seven books that have sold more than 50 million copies each?

  • J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Beatrix Potter
  • J.K. Rowling

What Canadian author belongs in the over 50-million-copies-sold club?

  • Lucy Maude Montgomery
  • Margaret Atwood
  • Alice Munro

What book -- originally published in Italian -- has sold more than 50 million copies?

  • "The Prince"
  • "Crossing the Threshold of Hope"
  • "The Name of the Rose"

Switzerland is represented on the over-50-million list by what book?

  • "Heidi"
  • "Steppenwolf"
  • "The Swiss Family Robinson"

One Russian author has a book that sold over 50 million copies. Who was it?

  • Anton Chekhov
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Vladimir Nabokov

"The Alchemist" has sold 65 million copies since its publication in 1988. Who wrote it?

  • P.G. Wodehouse
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Paulo Coelho