Most Read Books in the World

What are the Most Read Books in the World and Why “Fifty Shades of Grey” Wins a Battle against the Divine “The Divine Comedy”

Most read books in the worldSince lately I have been encountering people who hadn’t heard of some of the greatest novels of our time, I started questioning things outside of those people’s education and culture to seek an explanation. Is it their fault on what’s being mass-distributed and advertised? Or had the times changed and what’s really meaningful and classical had outgrown Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Nabokov?

Below you can find lists of the worldwide most read books and the UK most read books of all time, according to a latest research. If we concentrate our attention only on fiction and leave The Bible alone, in both lists “Harry Potter” has a striking presence along with “The DaVinci Code”. As much as I respect all the writers below, especially as an author myself, I can not help but wonder what happened to the good old classics such as, “War and Peace”, “Crime and Punishment”, “The Great Gatsby”, “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, etc.

When I was at school (which wasn’t as long time ago as it sounds), we had to read at least 20 books each summer and be able to analyze them through which many of us discovered life and ourselves. We appreciated the real values in life and learned how to be better people. I remember reading Dante Alighieri’s “The Divine Comedy” and finding it complex, but exactly that complexity made my brain work faster and better. When I dived into it completely and I understood  Dante’s progression from Hell through Purgatory to Heaven, I started to ask myself the important questions of a lifetime: For example, Dante addresses such questions as: What happens to the body and the soul of a person after death? If God created all people, why are people physically different (a question of biology), and why do people sin (a question of psychology)? In essence, Dante outlines his scientific understanding of the world. Isn’t that what we are supposed to ask ourselves? How can this be compared to “Fifty Shades of Grey”?

In the UK most read books in all times, we see that the British authors prevail, which is understandable from one side, but narrow-minded from the other. But even if we let that fact go, why aren’t Oscar Wilde and Charles Dickens in the top of the list? If Britain was so proud with its literature, is “Harry Potter” the best of Britain to show to the world?

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a life-changing book that explores the individualism and the moral codes of society. It is a book about love and soul-salvation, told by a magnificently brilliant way by Oscar Wilde – a book that deserves to be number 1 of all times in Britain.

I wouldn’t be able make my top 10 with literature masterpieces without missing on some of the greatest, but here are some of my personal choices, in no particular order: “Lolita” (Vladimir Nabokov), “The Divine Comedy” (Dante Alighieri), “Moby Dick” (Herman Melville), “War and Peace”(Lev Tolstoy), “The Picture of Dorian Gray” (Oscar Wilde), “The Great Gatsby” and “The Beautiful and Damned”(F.Scott Fitzgerald), “To Kill a Mockingbird” (Harper Lee), “For Whom The Bell Tolls” (Ernest Hemingway), “Crime and Punishment”(Fyodor Dostoevsky).

At the end of the day, like anything else it is up to us to decide the culture that will shape our reality. It is inevitable to blame the educational system and the society, which do have to take certain blame for it, but we are all individuals making our choices. “Harry Potter” and “The Lord of The Rings” are interesting and entertaining reads without a doubt, but let us not forget where it all started and who questioned the real values in life, which we need to constantly remind ourselves to maintain a significant life.

Worldwide list:

  1. The Bible
  2. “Quotations from Mao Tse-Tung” by Mao Tse-Tung
  3. “Harry Potter” by J.K. Rowling
  4. “The Lord of The Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkein
  5. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
  6. “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown
  7. “The Twilight Saga” by Stephenie Meyer
  8. “Gone With The Wind” by Margaret Mitchell
  9. “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill
  10. “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Anne Frank

UK list:

  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



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