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Best-selling books of the 21st century

World Book DayIrrespective of digital advancements and the social media invasion, most of us still like to enjoy our day off exploring the world within the pages of a good book. Today the world celebrates World Book Day, also known as World Book and Copyright Day, or International Day of the Book, which was conceptualised by the UNESCO. It is observed across the globe on April 23 in order to celebrate the joys of reading and to inculcate a love for reading in children and youth. The main objective of the World Book Day is to promote reading, publishing, and copyright and celebrate the work of the great authors across the globe. On the occasion, we bring to you ten best-selling books of the 21st century.

Harry Potter series (Action and fantasy)

Harry Potter

Written by the British author J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter series gained immense popularity and success globally. As of February 2018, the books which harbour the journey of the wizard by the name Harry Potter sold more than 500 million copies across the globe, making them the best-selling book series in history, and have also been translated into eighty languages. All-time favorite of the youth and children, the series includes Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, (1997), Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2005), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007).

Robert Langdon series (Adventure)

Robert Langdon series

The Robert Langdon book series is named after Robert Langdon, who is the protagonist of the novels written by Dan Brown – an American author. The series traces the adventures of Langdon – a professor of religious iconology and symbology, a fictional field that is related to the study of historic symbols. The novels were a success around the world and became best-sellers, and were soon adapted into films. The series has sold over 150 million copies until date. The books are The Da Vinci Code (2003), Angels and Demons (2000), The lost symbol (2009), Inferno (2013), Origin (2017).

Twilight series (Drama and fiction)


The Twilight series is a vampire-themed fantasy romance novels written by American author Stephenie Meyer and were originally published from 2005 through 2008.  Since the release of the first novel, Twilight, in 2005, the books have gained immense popularity and commercial success around the world. The series has sold over 120 million copies worldwide and was translated into 38 different languages across the globe. The books have also been adapted into movies. The books are Twilight (2005), New Moon (2006), Eclipse (2007), Breaking Dawn (2008).

The Hunger Games (Dystopian)

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games is a 2008 novel by the American writer Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games was first published in 2008, followed by Catching Fire (2009) and Mockingjay (2010). The trilogy has sold more than 65 million copies in the U.S. alone with more than 28 million copies of The Hunger Games, over 19 million copies of Catching Fire, and over more than 18 million copies of Mockingjay. The Hunger Games trilogy was sold in 56 territories in 51 languages till date.

The Kite Runner (Fantasy)

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner is the first novel authored by the Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini and was first published in 2003. The book speaks about the journey of a young boy Amir from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul. The Kite Runner became a global best-seller and #1 New York Times bestseller, selling seven million copies in the United States alone. The novel was also adapted into movies.

The Purpose Driven Life (Historical fiction)

The Purpose Driven LifeThe Purpose Driven Life is supposedly a Bible study book which authored by Christian pastor Rick Warren and published in 2002. This book tells the readers of a 40-day personal spiritual journey and God’s five purposes for human life on Earth. The book which is written to be read as a daily inspiration, topped the Wall Street Journal best seller charts as well as Publishers Weekly charts, when over 30 million copies sold by 2007. In early 2019, 32 million copies were sold in more than 85 languages.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (psychological thriller)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is authored by Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson which was published posthumously in 2005 and became an international bestseller. This book is said to have sold over 30 million copies. The book tells the story of the disgraced financial reporter Mikael Blomkvist who finds a chance to redeem his honor.

The Shack (Mystery)

The ShackThe Shack is a novel by Canadian author William P. Young published in 2007. The plot of the novel revolves around the central character Mackenzie Allen Phillips, a father of five was largely not noticed for over a year after its first publication, however suddenly it became a very popular seller in mid-2008. Its success was the result of a word-of-mouth and blog-to-blog campaign. As of date the Shack novel has sold over 22 million copies till date.

Wolf Totem (Semi-autobiography)

Wolf Totem

Wolf Totem is a 2004 Chinese novel that speaks about the experience of a young student from Beijing who finds himself sent to the countryside of Inner Mongolia in 1967, during the midst of China’s cultural revolution. Written by author Lü Jiamin, the book exhibited strong sales selling over 50,000 copies in two weeks of its release. So far over 20 million copies have been sold worldwide. In 2015, a Chinese film was made based on the same novel.

The Secret (Historical fiction)

The Secret

The Secret is a 2006 best-selling self-help book written by Rhonda Byrne. This novel is based on the belief of the law of attraction, that claims that thoughts can change a person’s life directly. The book has so far sold over 30 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 50 languages.

Also read: 10 Augmented Reality books for children

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