Bill Gates Loves This Book So Much That He’s Giving It Away to 2018 Grads

The world probably isn’t as bad as you think it is — and that’s exactly what Bill Gates wants you to understand.

That’s why Gates, the billionaire founder of Microsoft, is giving away a copy of Hans Rosling’s book, “Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You Think,” for free to every spring 2018 college graduate.

The World Is a Better Place than You May Think

Gates has talked about his love of reading on multiple occasions. In fact, he even has a section devoted to his favorite reads on his blog.

A few months ago while answering questions on an Ask Me Anything thread on Reddit, Gates explained that while he loves to read, he doesn’t always have as much time to devote to the hobby as he’d like. However, when asked about the best book he’s read in 2018, Gates did have a couple of favorites to note.

“There are two amazing books,” Gates wrote in his reply. “They are both very readable and explain that the world is getting better.”

One of the books was “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress” by Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker. The other was Rosling’s “Factfulness.”


The book wasn’t scheduled to be released until April 3, but Gates got ahold of an early copy.

Rosling, a Swedish statistician and doctor who was known for his TED Talks died last year of pancreatic cancer. In January of 2017, he described “Factfulness” as “my last battle in my lifelong mission to fight devastating ignorance.”

According to Gapminder, Rosling’s foundation, “Factfulness” is the “stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts.” The book offers an explanation for why our society is so insistent on presenting incorrect “facts” as truth and looks at the 10 instincts that distort our perspective on the world — including how we view progress, the way we consume media and our tendency to view the world with an “us vs. them” mentality.

On his blog, Gates posted a quote from the book, adding that he hopes students take Rosling’s advice to heart and earn to think and act “factfully.”

Then, he offered 2018 grads a gift.

How to Get Bill Gates’ Top Pick for Grads for Free

“If you’re getting a degree from a U.S. college this spring, I have a present for you,” Gates wrote on June 5.

(Spoiler alert: It’s a book.)

The book, Gates says, is “packed with advice about how to see the world clearly.”

“Although I think everyone should read it,” he continues, “it has especially useful insights for anyone who’s making the leap out of college and into the next phase of life.”

And that’s why, he explains, he’s gifting a copy to every person who’s receiving (or has received) a degree from a U.S. college or university in spring 2018.

If you are a spring 2018 recipient of an associate’s, bachelor’s or post-graduate degree, you can head to Gates’ site to download your free copy of the e-book.

(Because of international publishing rights, however, only students in the U.S. can receive the free e-book download.)

To get your copy, you’ll have to create a “Gates Notes” account using your Twitter, Facebook or email address. Then, you’ll put in your school’s name and hit the download e-book button.

Once your status as a 2018 graduate is confirmed, you’ll receive a downloadable copy of the e-book.

Then you can get to reading and start seeing the good in the world again. We promise, it’s not as scary out here as it seems.

Congrats, grad!

Grace Schweizer is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.