I’ve been keeping a list of the best selling self help books of all time, just to make sure I have read all of them!
# 1: Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. Originally published in 1937, Think and Grow Rich is arguably the best selling self help book of all time, having sold more than 80 million copies. I actually re-read Think and Grow Rich a couple of times a year and I’ve written alot about it. You can find some of my insights right here.
# 2: The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo. Published in 1988, 65 million copies sold. The Alchemist follows a young Andalusian shepherd in his journey to the pyramids of Egypt, after having a recurring dream of finding a treasure there. I feel like this book is one of the original self-awareness allegories.
# 3: You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay, published in 1984, 50 million copies.
# 4: The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren (published 2002), 33 million copies. You might disagree with the inclusion of this book on this list because it is Christian-based, but it really is one of the most popular self-help books so it kind of has to be included.
# 5: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Steven Covey, published in 1989, 25 million copies sold.
# 6: The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield, published in 1993, 23 million copies sold.
# 7: The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale (published 1952), 20 million copies sold.
# 8: The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne (published 2006), 20 million copies. This is the book that started the modern awareness of the law of attraction. I do think that this book is kind of limited in terms of the practicalities of manifestation, but in terms of just raising the awareness of “thoughts become things” and the overall concept of “be more aware of your thoughts,” this book (and the movie that the preceded it) are a great starting point. Clearly it works or the book wouldn’t be on this list!
# 9: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, (published 1936), 15 million copies sold.
# 10: The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck, published in 1978, 10 million copies sold.