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  Rings is voted the UK's best book
Updated 14 December 2003, 11.36
The Lord of the Rings is the UK's best book
The Lord of the Rings, written by JRR Tolkien, has been voted the UK's best book in the BBC's Big Read contest.

More than 174,000 people voted for the book in the competition to find the most popular novel in the country.

Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials came third with 63,000 votes and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire won 55,000 votes to finish fifth.

Simon Tolkien, the grandson of the author, said the award would have meant an "enormous amount" to Tolkien.

Sales boost for final 100

Fact File
The Big Read top five
The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
His Dark Materials - Phillip Pullman
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - JK Rowling
The Lord of the Rings was always the favourite to win the Big Read, and got almost 40,000 more votes than second-placed Pride and Prejudice.

Originally 100 novels were shortlisted for the contest, and then they were cut down to the last 21.

Over seven weeks celebs campaigned for their favourite, with the final five then being revealed on Saturday.

An online book shop said sales of some books in the top 100 went up by almost 500% after being on the programme.

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