A person who does not know anything scores very far down on the intelligence quotient tests. Bill Gates knows a lot of things, because he has read throughout most of his life. Bill Gates continually reads. Regarding his book selections, he writes, “But I read mostly nonfiction because I always want to learn more about how the world works. And reading is how I learn best.”
He posts book lists of what he reads on his personal website “The Gates Notes.”
Because he has read throughout most of his life and because of the type of books he reads, Bill Gates understands complicated subjects. As he reads, he gets smarter.
Here is his list of the best books he read in 2013.
- The Box, by Marc Levinson. A book on containerized shipping.
- The Most Powerful Idea in the World, by William Rosen. “A bit like The Box, except it’s about steam engines.”
- Harvesting the Biosphere, by Vaclav Smil. “There is no author whose books I look forward to more than Vaclav Smil. Here he gives as clear and as numeric a picture as is possible of how humans have altered the biosphere.”
- The World Until Yesterday, by Jared Diamond. “Diamond finds fascinating anecdotes about what life is like for hunter-gatherers and asks which ones might apply to our modern lifestyles.”
- Poor Numbers, by Morten Jerven. This is a book about the GDP of African nations.
- Why Does College Cost So Much?, by Robert B. Archibald and David H. Feldman.
- The Bet, by Paul Sabin. Sabin. This book “chronicles the public debate about whether the world is headed for an environmental catastrophe.”
One of the reasons Bill Gates is so successful is that he tests at the level of a genius. Imagine at what level he would test if he were illiterate.
“The World’s Most Noble Headhunter”