World Book Day

It’s World Book Day on 5 March – a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and above all, reading. As a nation, one of our favourite past times is reading for leisure –there’s nothing more satisfying than curling up on the sofa, cup of tea in hand, and getting stuck into a new novel. With this in mind, we thought we’d give you some reading inspiration by looking at a few of the best-selling books of all time.

1. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown


The number one best-selling book of all time, the Da Vinci Code has sold 5,094,805 copies worldwide and has been translated in 44 different languages since its release in 2003.

The controversial novel about an alternative religion has sparked speculation about Mary Magdalene’s role in the history of Christianity and has been largely seen as an attack on the Roman Catholic Church – however that didn’t stop Columbia Pictures adapting the novel into a star-studded blockbuster hit in 2006!

2. Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling

41jp4HRVTnLWho doesn’t love Harry Potter? Now a household name among children and adults alike, the Harry Potter series takes up seven of the first ten spots on the list of 100 best-selling books of all time.

The first book alone has sold 4,200,654 copies, and the series in total has sold a staggering 26,250,717 – making JK Rowling the UK’s best-selling living author.

Her words have gone on to inspire the highest-grossing film series and a huge US theme park – but who would have thought 12 publishing houses rejected the original Harry Potter manuscripts before Bloomsbury decided to take a chance on Rowling?

3. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James

41H9iXTpUkLIt’s the film everybody is talking about, but did you know E.L James began writing under the name of “Snowqueen’s Icedragon” on a popular fanfiction website? E.L James admits that the idea behind Fifty Shades of Grey started out as a piece of fanfiction inspired by the Twilight saga.

The novel was originally self-published as an e-book before Vintage Books acquired the rights in 2012. Since then it has sold 3,758,936 copies worldwide and has set a UK record as the fastest-selling paperback of all time!

41d1CReRNYL4. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Alice Sebold’s chilling and haunting tale of Suzie Salmon, a teenage girl who must come to terms with her brutal murder as she watches – from heaven – her loved ones struggle to move on with their lives, became a bestseller almost instantly after its release in 2002.

The book has sold 2,005,598 copies worl wide and went on to become a raging success at the box office after its film adaption in 2009.

5. Atonement by Ian McEwan

51X6WE81VKLRegarded as McEwan’s best work, the heart-wrenching tale of two lives ruined by one little girl’s mistake sold has sold a whopping 1,539,428 copies worldwide.

Following the success of the book, a film adaption directed by Joe Wright was released in 2007, starring Kiera Knightly, James McAvoy and Saoirse Ronan, which went on to win an Oscar, two Golden Globes and two BAFTA Awards.



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