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Bible Tops America's 10 Favorite Books of All Time

One thing Americans can agree on

Regardless of which demographic group they belong to – male-female, Republican-Democrat or old-young – Americans named the Bible as their favorite book of all time, according to a recent nationwide poll.

In addition to being the number one book overall, the Holy Book also came in first across the board when comparing different demographic groups – gender, race/ethnicity, generation, political party, region, education – according to the Harris Poll released on Monday.

The results may come as no surprise considering statistics that reflect how plentiful Bibles are in the nation. An estimated 92 percent of Americans own a Bible and the average household owns three, a 1993 Barna Research study found.

More recent research puts Bible ownership at an average of four per household, which suggest that Bible publishers sell twenty-five million copies a year, according to The New Yorker.

But the revered book, a testament to God's enduring love toward mankind, is read by just 45 percent of Americans in a typical week, the Barna Research Group reported two years ago.

In the Harris Poll, Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind was the nation's second favorite read while J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings fantasy series nabbed third.

Americans also enjoyed reading J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, which came in fourth.

The fifth most popular book is The Stand by horror author Stephen King.

Dan Brown's controversial book, The Da Vinci Code, placed sixth, while Angels and Demons, another book by the same author, came in eighth.

According to the poll, there was a large difference in the number two favorite book although Gone With the Wind came in second for most groups.

Men favored Lord of the Rings while women couldn't get enough of the Civil War and romance in Gone with the Wind as their second favorite.

Age among Americans also mattered in determining which book placed second best. For those belonging to the Echo Boomers group (ages 18-31), their second favorite is the Harry Potter series. Generation X (ages 32-43) is evenly divided between The Stand and Angels and Demons.

Baby Boomers (ages 44-62) and Matures (ages 63 and older) both liked Mitchell's 1936 novel as their second choice.

There was also varying preferences among Americans' second favorite book, depending on where they lived. Residents in the South and Midwest chose Gone With the Wind. Easterners agreed on Tolkien and Westerners sided with King.

Both Whites and Hispanics picked Gone with the Wind as their second favorite while African Americans embraced Angels and Demons.

The largest difference between Americans' second-choice read existed between educational levels, the poll found. Those with education up until high school level went with Gone with the Wind; some college education said it was The Stand; college graduates hailed Lord of the Rings; and those with a post graduate education equally favor Lord of the Rings and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Republicans, Democrats and Independents cited the same books as the their top two – The Bible followed by Gone with the Wind.

The online poll by Harris Interactive surveyed 2,513 U.S. adults between March 11 and 18, 2008.

America's Top 10 Favorite Books

1. The Bible
2. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
3. Lord of the Rings (series), by J.R.R. Tolkien
4. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
5. The Stand, by Stephen King
6. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown
7. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
8. Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown
9. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
10. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

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