Bill Gates gained a key insight from the literary classic he calls his favorite book

Bill Gates
Katie Kramer | CNBC

Bill Gates loves to read. The Microsoft co-founder reads every night, has reviewed hundreds of books on his blog and regularly shares reading lists. Gates told The New York Times that reading, "is one of the chief ways that I learn, and has been since I was a kid."

Even though he reads 50 books a year, his favorite book of all time is one he read when he was just a teenager — The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.

Gates wrote on his blog, "I read this when I was 13. It's my favorite book."

The widely celebrated novel by J.D. Salinger examines topics of loneliness, hypocrisy and superficiality. But it's the novel's exploration of adolescence and adulthood that Gates finds so interesting.

"It acknowledges that young people are a little confused, but can be smart, and see things that adults don't," writes Gates.

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Despite a schedule that's packed with Silicon Valley commitments and massive philanthropic efforts, Gates still finds time to post reading lists and book reviews to his blog regularly.

He tells The New York Times that he enjoys sharing his favorite books through his blog because it allows him to create a community.

"I have always loved reading and learning," he says. "So it is great if people see a book review and feel encouraged to read and share what they think online or with their friends."

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