If you stacked all the Bibles sitting in American homes, the tower would rise 29 million feet, nearly 1,000 times the height of Mount Everest.

More than 90 percent of American households own a Bible, and the average family owns three, according to pollsters at the Barna Group. The American Bible Society hands out 5 million copies of the Good Book each year; 1.5 billion Gideon Bibles wait in hotel rooms worldwide.

Scripture outsells the latest diet fads, murder mysteries and celebrity bios year after year. Evangelical publishers alone sold an estimated 20 million Bibles in recession-battered 2009, raking in about $500 million in sales, according to Michael Covington, information and education director of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.

Experts say it’s nearly impossible to calculate exactly how many Bibles are sold each year. But one thing is clear: The Good Book is great for business.

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