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Harry Potter becomes best-selling book series in history with more than 500 million copies sold worldwide

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Feb 2, 2018

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books have become the biggest-selling series ever, with more than 500 million copies sold worldwide, says Bloomsbury, publisher of the books in the U.K. All seven installments, as well as companion books such as The Tales of Beedle the BardFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Quidditch Through the Ages factor into the publisher's figure (via The Bookseller).

This puts the series in the same league as Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote, which has also sold 500 million copies over the course of its lifetime. Other series behind Potter in terms of sales are R.L. Stine's Goosebumps, with 350 million; Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit, with 150 million; and J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, with 150 million. The Chronicles of Narnia, Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones all bring up the rear. 

Potter books have broken other records on their own in the past. For instance, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the fastest-selling book of fiction in history, selling more than 8 million copies in the first 24 hours alone. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is the fifth best-selling book in history, with 120 million sold, and only the second one to involve elements of fantasy—Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is in third place. Lastly, all seven books fall into the impressive category of books selling between 50 and 100+ million copies. 

Of course, the Bible stills remains the world's most purchased tome, at 6 billion copies sold, according to Guinness World Records. Still, to a lot of Rowling's fans, all seven Harry Potter novels are like Bibles to them. 

Bloomsbury did not immediately respond to an email from SYFY WIRE, while a rep for Rowling declined to comment.