5 Life-Changing Books That Billionaire Bill Gates Thinks You Should Read

There are so many people who have found success just by following the old adage, “fake it until you make it.” Want to achieve similar results in your own life? Start acting more like a billionaire. And the easiest way to start is by delving into the topics that the second richest man in the world, Bill Gates, likes to learn about.

Most people will never have the privilege of enjoying a one on one chat with Bill Gates. But it is possible to glean some of the advice he might give you if you did ever get the chance. Ahead, check out five books that Bill Gates thinks everyone should read.

They’re not guaranteed to make you a billionaire, but you can at least think like one!

Bill Gates
Bill Gates | LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images

Bill Gates reads serious books

To the surprise of no one, Bill Gates favors non-fiction and classic stories instead of modern fiction. While there’s nothing wrong with fiction as a genre, Gates is one of many busy people who prioritize more serious books with the limited time they have for leisure reading.

In the blog post documenting his reading recommendations, Bill Gates also recommended checking out his wife Melinda Gates’ book, The Moment of Lift. “I know I’m biased, but it’s one of the best books I’ve read so far this year,” he said.

‘Upheaval’ by Jared Diamond

This non-fiction book takes on the fascinating topic of how different societies respond to inevitable tragedies. It explores different real-life events including civil wars, foreign enemies, and unrest among the people.

Gates said, “It sounds a bit depressing, but I finished the book even more optimistic about our ability to solve problems than I started.”

‘Nine Pints’ by Rose George

This book about blood — which Gates admits is not a great choice for anyone squeamish — is named for the average volume of blood in an adult. This non-fiction selection will teach you more about the nature of blood and the ways it’s used than you ever thought possible.

‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ by Amor Towles

Not every reading recommendation on Bill Gates’ recommended reading list is non-fiction.

This historical fiction pick documents a 30-year saga of an aristocrat on house arrest inside a Moscow hotel. The best part? This book was popular a few years ago, so there probably isn’t a waiting list at the library anymore. But it’s still worth reading.

Gates called it, “an amazing story that anyone can enjoy.”

‘Presidents of War’ by Michael Beschloss

Another non-fiction selection that explores leadership, Presidents of War discusses leadership during the most trying times for any nation — wartime. This lofty tome dissects the office of president during eight major conflicts from the 19th century to the 1970s.

There’s no way you can read this book and not learn something.

‘The Future of Capitalism’ by Paul Collier

The smartest thinkers in society don’t just read books about topics they fully support. Bill Gates admits that he’s not on board with all of Collier’s opinions, but at least he’s seen a different perspective from his own.

“Although I don’t agree with him about everything—I think his analysis of the problem is better than his proposed solutions—his background as a development economist gives him a smart perspective on where capitalism is headed,” Gates explained.