What is the most popular book of all time?

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Besides the Bible and the Koran, a surprising favorite is Lebanese Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet. And it could be said that, of the secular Western literature, Shakespeare’s Folio has been used as a source for both reading and performance. The term “popular” is misleading if one is speaking of “purchased” rather than “read,” because many Western stories are passed on by borrowed and loaned copies, as well as simply told orally; for example, “Mary Had a Little Lamb” has been recited thousands of times, and the Grimm Fairy Tales have gone through many editions, separately and combined, to say nothing of the “translations” into other media. Confucius’ teachings have been around thousands of years in various forms. So the term “book” is suspect also. So your question cannot have a specific answer such as Moby Dick or Tale of Two Cities.

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