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Billionaire Elon Musk says he was 'raised by books' and credits his success to these 8
Elon Musk, chairman and chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc.
Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Elon Musk, chairman and chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc.

Earlier this year, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk made history upon successfully completing the first commercial rocket launch from the NASA launch pad which also sent astronauts to the moon. Although Musk studied physics and economics in college, he actually first learned about rockets by reading books.

In fact, Musk's connection with books goes beyond his latest successes.

"I was raised by books. Books, and then my parents," Musk said in an interview with reporter Neil Strauss for Rolling Stone's latest cover story.

Up until Musk was 8, he lived with both of his parents Maye and Errol Musk in South Africa, Strauss reported. But he did not see them much and mostly lived under the watch of a housekeeper, who Musk said was mainly there to make sure he didn't break anything.

"She wasn't, like, watching me. I was off making explosives and reading books and building rockets and doing things that could have gotten me killed," Musk told the magazine. "I'm shocked that I have all my fingers."

Throughout 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 Musk's parents separated, Musk said he felt sad for his father and decided to move with him. In an interview in 2015, Errol told Forbes about how young Elon would have the most fun when reading books.

"Elon has always been an introvert thinker," Errol said. "So where a lot of people would go to a great party and have a great time and drink and talk about all sorts of things like rugby or sport, you would find Elon had found the person's library and was going through their books."

From his adolescence through today, here are eight books that shaped the revolutionary entrepreneur:

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