Thursday, July 9, 2009

International Best Seller

Two thousand year ago this dude wrote a book...okay, he didn't actually sit down and pen it, he had some mates of his write it and well, he didn't actually put it all together in a 'book', that happened later... with the whole inventing a printing press thing, but the point is, there was this book. And not just any book. Some two thousand years on (give or take a few decades) the book is still the number one best selling book of all time. It has been translated into more than 2,000 languages and is still recognised as one of the most frequently translated texts. No one is exactly sure how many copies of this book are in print, but it has sold in excess of 6 billion copies world wide! No other book in history even comes close to the sales of this book. Interestingly enough, the only other text that comes close to this sort of 'best seller' is the 'Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung'. This little book sold an impressive 900 million copies, but that's still a long way from 6 billion. You might have guessed that I am talking about The Bible. Do these kind of facts just blow your mind? I mean you gotta wonder... 6 billion copies? God obviously had something to say that a few people thought was worth reading.

I remember having a 'moment', okay, a fit, about the fact that I really have no writing mentor and sometimes just really have no clue about what I am doing. I'll do something about joining a critique group one of these days, but in the mean time I felt God's gentle reminder that He in fact had a little somethin' in print and that He was quite able to direct my path. Food for thought?

While I'm on this little facts and figures trip, I thought you might like to know that we are all wasting our time writing novels. Apparently, what sells are spelling books. Yes, spelling! The American Spelling Book has sold 100 million copies. You could print your own little book of records, or has that been done? Oh yeah, Guiness Book of World Records has sold around 94 million copies world wide and the Almanac Books of Facts has sold 73 million. But then again J.R.R Tolkien has apparently carved out a living from writing non-facts related stuff. Her book 'The Lord of the Rings sold 150 million copies to date and 'The Hobbit' has sold around 100 million. Yep, Tolkien can write. Charles Dickens also knew a thing or two about words. The dude wrote this little thing called, 'A Tale of Two Cities'. A few people have heard of it. The book has sold about 200 million copies! But now I am just depressing myself...wondering if I'll ever get in print never mind selling millions... or even thousands.

Just thought it was interesting, that even in this day and age, a book written so long ago has the power to out sell every other book. I'm rather proud to call Him Father. And I think He probably knows how to guide me. 6 billion copies! Wow. Did I mention that already?


  1. Glad my first thoughts were right that I guessed the bible, thought you might of done one of those trick questions.

  2. Yeah, I wish it was my writing I was talking about. Imagine selling 6 billion copies of your own book? Then we'd have money for Kindy, houses and all manner of 'starting a new life' hoo ahh, hey Shell!