Bill Gates and his Endearment for Books

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light, these lines are well said by Vera Nazarian. Habit of reading books is immensely useful for one to enhance skills of creativity and imagination. A good book can be extremely worthwhile, can teach you about things beyond your daily purview, and can create characters so scintillating, you feel as if you really know them. This practice of reading can immensely improve one’s vocabulary, increases attention span, thirst of knowledge among the few edges.

Ninja say reading is infleuntial for anyone in a leadership position. Writing in The Harvard Business Review, author John Coleman argues that reading can make you a better communicator and more empathetic.

Bill Gates is one among the many who comprises the habit of reading. As a teenybopper, unpredictably he was a bookworm. He loved reading so much, that his father had to setup a rule that books won’t be allowed on dinning table. Initially, they too were thrilled with his excitement and devotion towards reading but slowly they had blues as they had to set World Book Encyclopedias, which he read in alphabetical sequence; every genre of book interested him – encyclopedias, science fiction, you name it.

Over the years, his love for books and reading hasn’t curtailed but instead with newer technology and vast ocean of sources available for reading it has increased so much that he reads a book in a week. Even, if his schedule is power-packed he carves for reading. Now, that’s amazing!

Today, his personal blog “GatesNotes” features upwards of 150 book recommendations for everything from scientific histories to graphic novels. This, he started in the year 2010, with the emergence of internet. Every year, genius-philanthropist Bill Gates comes out with his reading list, and let’s face it, when a billionaire advises you on something, it’s best to sit up and listen.

Among the world’s richest and most triumphant people, passion for books and for lifelong learning is hardly uncommon. Author and self-made millionaire Steve Siebold has interviewed more than 1,200 of the world’s wealthiest people over the past three decades and has noted that reading for self-education is a common thread among them.

Investing legend Warren Buffett reportedly spends about 80% of his day reading, and continues to include book recommendations in his annual shareholder letters.

In 2015, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg resolved to read a book every two weeks, and even started a book club called “A Year of Books” so that he could discuss those books with the Facebook community.

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey selects a book every month for readers to discuss online as part of “Oprah’s Book Club 2.0,” and when tech billionaire Elon Musk is asked how he learned to build rockets, he reportedly answered, “I read books.”

This year, Gates’ pick is a miscellaneous mix of topics from tennis to tennis shoes, genomics to great leadership.

“They’re all very well written, and they all dropped me down a rabbit hole of unexpected insights and pleasures”.

The books on his list for 2016 are- Seveneves by Neal Stephenson, How Not to be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg, The Vital Question by Nick Lane, The Power to Compete by Ryoichi Mikitani and Hiroshi Mikitani, and Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Noah Yuval Harari.

Clearly, there’s nothing confidential to becoming wildly successful. But a weekly caper to a local library is an almost surefire way to increase your knowledge and your effectiveness in business settings.

-Yogishwini C. Solanki