"I read books," he reportedly likes to say.
Musk — who was smart enough to get into a physics Ph.D. program at Stanford University and then drop out because it didn't seem that relevant to him — has always been hungry for the written word.
In its profile of the Tesla and SpaceX CEO, the New Yorker observed that he was picked on a lot during his South African childhood, and he would retreat into fantasy (J.R.R. Tolkien) and science fiction (Isaac Asimov) to cope.
As we'll see in the following slides, books have always been important to Musk: inspiring him as a child, giving him heroes as a young adult, and helping him to learn rocket science while launching SpaceX.