The Bible is the US's most popular book


Survey results released yesterday show that the Bible is the most popular book in the US across all age groups and demographics.

Harris Poll researchers asked 2,234 American adults what their favourite book is, without clarifying any particular kinds of book, or offering multiple choice selection.

The Bible came top among all books, as it did in 2008 when the Harris Poll last conducted this same research. All other books in the top ten were novels.

Most Americans are also sticking with the traditional format of hard copy editions rather than digital ebook formats, as Harris Poll research from earlier this month revealed that 46 per cent of Americans continue to read only physical books.

The version that they are most likely to be reading continues to be the King James Bible, despite the fact that the New International Version continues to be at the top of the Christian Bookseller Association's sales charts, as it has been for several decades.

Out of the 1,551 people asked as part of the study 'The Bible in American Life' by the Centre for the Study of Religion and American Culture at Indiana University, 55 per cent of those who read the Bible regularly said they used the KJV, compared to only 19 per cent who use the NIV.

Similar results are seen when looking at the numbers of Google searches relating to versions of the Bible in the US, with the KJV accounting for approximately 57 per cent of all Bible version related searches, while the NIV accounts for 32 per cent.

The books that Americans listed in second place after the Bible revealed cultural and generational divides.

The overall second favourite book was Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, a book that was also the second favourite of a majority of women, white people, Baby Boomers (those aged 49 to 67), and conservatives.

The Harry Potter series came third overall, but was second among Millennials (those aged 18 to 36). JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series came fourth overall, but was second only to the Bible among men, Gen Xers (those aged 37 to 48), and those with post graduate degrees.

Herman Melville's tale of Captain Ahab's hunt for Moby Dick came eighth overall, but was second only to the Bible among black respondents, while Hispanic readers rated the Great Gatsby as their second favourite, a book that reached tenth place in the overall listings.

Since 2008 a number of books that were hugely popular have since dropped down the page. The Stand by Stephen King, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand were respectively fifth, sixth, and ninth most popular  in 2008. But in 2014 none of these books made the top ten.