Since his childhood, books have played a crucial role in fueling Musk’s ambitions. It’s said that he read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica at age nine and would pore through science fiction novels for more than 10 hours a day.
When asked how he learned about rockets, Musk reportedly said, “I read books.” His voracious reading habit was essential to launching his history-making career.
Here are eight books that shaped the revolutionary entrepreneur:
“It is really, really good if you want a primer on structural design,” Musk says in an interview with KCRW.
“You can see how [Franklin] was an entrepreneur,” Musk says in an interview with Foundation’s Kevin Rose. “He was an entrepreneur. He started from nothing. He was just a runaway kid.”
Musk tells Rose he was influenced by the biography of theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, and it’s clear why.
“The heroes of the books I read always felt a duty to save the world,” he tells the New Yorker.
In a 2013 interview with The Guardian, Musk says Asimov’s books taught him that “civilizations move in cycles,” a lesson that encouraged the entrepreneur to pursue his radical ambitions.