Harry Potter Book Series More Influential Than the Bible, According to Facebook

Harry Potter
Readers in Berlin celebrate the release of the final Harry Potter book in 2007. |

A recent study conducted by Facebook revealed that author J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter book series has been more influential in people's lives than the Bible.

For the past year, a meme circulated around Facebook has asked people to list books that have influenced them, which is how two researchers, Pinkesh Patel and Lada Adamic, were able to compile their data composed of 130,000 user updates to create their list.

"List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don't take more than a few minutes, and don't think too hard. They do not have to be the 'right' books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way," read the meme statement on Facebook.

The Harry Potter series was mentioned by 21 percent of the thousands of respondents, ranking it No. 1 among the top 500 books that were listed, while just 7 percent of statuses mentioned the Bible, ranking it at No. 6 on the list.

Despite the series beating out the Bible on Facebook's list, it was the Bible that was recorded as the world's most-read book, according to a ranking list created by writer James Chapman in 2012. He created the list based on the number of copies several books had sold over the last five decades, and found that the Bible has sold 4 billion copies. Harry Potter came in third with 400 million copies sold.

Chapman says the process was a "long project of research" and the list itself was composed of books based on a wide array of subject matters.

The study conducted for Facebook's book list was derived from the following demographics: 63.7 percent were in the U.S., followed by 9.3 percent in India, and 6.3 percent in the U.K. Women outnumbered men 3 to 1. The average age was 37.

Here's a list of the top 20 books that are most influential to people, according to Facebook

1. Harry Potter
2. To Kill a Mockingbird
3. The Lord of the Rings
4. The Hobbit
5. Pride and Prejudice
6. The Holy Bible
7. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
8. The Hunger Games
9. The Catcher in the Rye
10. The Chronicles of Narnia
11. The Great Gatsby
12. 1984
13. Little Women
14. Jane Eyre
15. The Stand
16. Gone with the Wind
17. A Wrinkle in Time
18. The Handmaid's Tale
19. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
20. The Alchemist

Free CP Newsletters

Join over 250,000 others to get the top stories curated daily, plus special offers!


Most Popular

More In U.S.