Harry Potter devotees may fondly imagine that the boy wizard rules the world of literature with a wand of iron – but actually, he doesn’t.
J K Rowling’s creation only ranks fifth in a list compiled by LoveReading.com of the most popular books of all time.
The list ranks books by totalling the number of translations, the number of editions per translation, and the copies sold of each edition.
Harry Potter only makes it into the top five by total sales of the entire series, jostling for position with religious texts and Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book, which was widely disseminated in Communist China.
The Top Ten list is here
The Koran – three billion copies sold
The King James Bible – 2.5bn
Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung, Mao Zedong – 800m
Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes – 500m
Harry Potter series, JK Rowling – 450m
A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens – 200m
The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien – 150m
Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – 140m
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll – 100m
Dream of the Red Chamber, Cao Xueqin – 100m
Source: Most popular book in the world