Elon Musk appears to be reading a book by George Washington about how to behave in public

Elon Musk appears to be reading a book by George Washington about how to behave in public
Elon Musk next to a picture he shared of what he said was his nightstand — where there's a stack of books that looks to include one by George Washington, along with cans of Diet Coke and an apparently imitation gun.Getty and Twitter
  • Elon Musk's bedside table appears to feature a book on etiquette by George Washington.
  • Musk shared a picture Monday morning of what he said was on his bedside table.

Elon Musk appears to be reading a book by George Washington on how to behave in public, according to a snapshot of what he said was his bedside table that the billionaire shared on Monday morning.

It is unclear whether Musk took the picture himself or whether it's actually his bedside table.

On the righthand corner of the nightstand, there is what appears to be a group of small books. One of them looks to be Washington's "Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation." It could be part of a collection of "Books of American Wisdom," which also includes the US Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and Benjamin Franklin's "The Way to Wealth."

Washington's book, which is about 36 pages long, sets out 110 rules on how to be a gentlemen.

'The rules focus on self-respect and respect for others through details of etiquette," according to an Amazon listing of the book. "The rules offer pointers on such issues as how to dress, walk, eat in public, and address one's superiors."


Similarly, Franklin's "The Way to Wealth" is an essay that features a collection of proverbs on work ethic and frugality, with adages that include "There are no gains, without pains" and "Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." (Musk already has at least one part of that down: He's worth around $180 billion, according to a Bloomberg tally.) He didn't respond to Insider's request for comment on his apparent bedside reading.

Musk has long been known for his intensity and work ethic. At Tesla and SpaceX, he has pushed for lofty goals and has been known to work as much as 120 hours a week and sleep on the factory floor. But, the richest man in the world has not always appeared to be concerned with traditional etiquette.

He's known for his eccentric behavior — especially on social media. Most recently, Musk took to Twitter on Monday to slam Apple for allegedly threatening to stop offering Twitter on the App Store. Musk also accused Apple of pulling most of its advertising on the social platform.

It wasn't the first time Musk has been quick to start feuds and crack jokes on Twitter, from arguing with Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Stephen King to posting masturbation jokes, Musk has long been known to ruffle feathers on social media.

Similarly, in person, Musk is also a unique character. The Tesla CEO and "Chief Twit" has reportedly thrown public fits. Former executives have said the billionaire can be a difficult person to work for, prone to bouts of anger and instances of rage-firing employees — allegations he has adamantly denied, calling them "false" on Twitter and saying he gives "clear and frank" feedback to employees.


The box set wasn't the only thing on what Musk said was his bedside table. On the table also was recreation of Emanuel Leutze's painting of Washington crossing the Delaware River, as well as what appeared to be two replica guns and several real cans of caffeine-free Diet Coke.