These are eight books Elon Musk says changed his life and forged his successful career.

Elon Musk, the billionaire tech mogul, entrepreneur, and CEO of SpaceX, has an immense passion for reading; no wonder at age 9 he read the entire Britannica Encyclopedia all by himself, and would spend almost ten hours a day reading Sci-Fi novels and comics. His life and career as an entrepreneur has motivated a lot of people. He says his success was inspired by eight books he read and literally changed his life.


Related media: Elon Musk Says These 8 Books Helped Make Him Billions


#1. ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’ by Douglas Adams

As a young teenager, Musk found himself reading a lot of books by moody philosophers like Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. Later on, one of Douglas Adams masterpieces caught his attention, and something sparked.

“I was reading various books on trying to figure out the meaning of life and what does it all mean?,” Musk confessed in an interview with Alison van Diggelen.

“So then I read ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,’ which is quite positive, I think. And it highlighted an important point, which is that a lot of times the question is harder than the answer. And if you can properly phrase the question, then the answer is the easy part.” 


#2. ‘Einstein: His Life And Universe’ by Walter Isaacson

The works of one genius will certainly inspire another genius. No wonder this book, which Musk recommends is the source of his inspiration. In an interview with Foundation, he tells the story of a genius who had the greatest innovation ever and how his brilliance shaped the world. Sounds familiar, right?


#3. ‘Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down’ by J.E Gordon 

Founding a company like SpaceX requires a individual with a sound know how about the field. Musk claims to have taught himself about the industry by reading this book.

“It is really, really good if you want a primer on structural design,” Musk confessed in an interview with Kansas City Roller Warriors (KCRW).


#4. ‘Ignition!: An Informal History Of Liquid Rocket Propellants’ by John D. Clark

Talking about rockets, then no wonder this book inspired Musk to found the tech company SpaceX. In an interview, Musk suggests this classic and influential book.

“There is a good book on rocket stuff called ‘Ignition!’ by John Clark that’s a really fun one.” Musk told MediaBistro.


#5. ‘Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies’ by Nick Bostrom 

If anyone would talk of superintelligence, then Musk is way on top. Musk believes that AI is deadlier than nuclear weapons. He has been in an ongoing debate about AI and recommend this book as potential resource.


#6. ‘Zero To One: Notes On Startups, Or How To Build The Future’ by Peter Thiel 

Getting some advice from Musk is a good thing, but getting that advice from someone Musk himself got the advice from is another. The co-founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel, and author of ‘Zero To One.’

“Peter Thiel has built multiple breakthrough companies, and ‘Zero to One’ shows how,” Musk says.


#7. ‘The “Foundation” Trilogy’ by Isaac Asimov

These last two books are both recommended by Musk as a combo, since he is a fan of fictional novels.

“The heroes of the books I read always felt a duty to save the world,” he told The New Yorker.


#8 ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ by J.R.R Tolkien

But what he prefers of the two?

“In terms of sci-fi books, I think Isaac Asimov is really great. I like the ‘Foundation’ series, probably one of the all-time best,” Musk told KCRW.

There you have it. The insight into the mind of a man who fancies reading more anything. At this point I’m sure you’re going to check out these books and how amazing they are. If not for the sake of Musk, let it be for the sake of curiosity.


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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Sat, Dec 22, 2018

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