Is There A "Universal" Book – Some Follow-Up

It's funny – you do a post you think will get lots of responses and then, ..not really.  But then you do a bit of a throwaway post albeit on a fairly interesting hypothetical question and you get tons of thoughtful, passionate responses. 

So inspired by Cenobyte who said she was going to pose that same question in a Live Journal forum, I thought I'd tap the hivemind and see what the folks over at AskMetaFilter had to say about potential “universal” books. As usual, they had lots of great suggestions plus adding some interesting resources – the list of bestselling books from Wikipedia, the list of the most widely held books according to OCLC, a few relevant newspaper articles and so on.

The administrators at AskMF frown on “chatfilter”-type questions (which is why I stuck in that “if I was planning a library display on universal books” line to give my question a practical aspect) but I find the questions about these chatty things (the proverbial “Desert Island Discs”-type questions) to be the most interesting.

My question didn't get deleted and instead, got a fairly good response with 56 comments as I type this and 15 users who marked it as a “favourite” question.

(Oh, and you don't have to know us or anything to play that virtual baby book guessing game I linked to in my first link of this post.  We won't be insulted by what you write (Shea's brother put “Duke Hazzard” as a name!)  Plus you can win free books!  I'll even throw in 1-2 extras over and above the two I listed.  What's better than that?)

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