7 Beautiful Math Books That Inspired Me

7 min readMar 6

Once a good pot of tea is brewed, it can be left on low heat to steep and be enjoyed all night. That is because as the tea steeps longer and longer, it becomes more and more flavorful, just like a book. Like the steeping pot of tea, while we read, we let our minds work and “boil” on their own. After a time, it becomes more “flavorful,” and your imagination becomes developed.

As Nasreddin Tusi says, “Books can’t revive the dead or make smart an idiot. Instead, they hone the mind, sharpening it and sating the thirst one has for knowledge. In a month, you can learn more from an expert than you would normally learn in a lifetime, taking your debt of knowledge away. Books will save you from living with disgusting people and stop you from making relationships with ignorant ones.”

The benefits mentioned above require that the correct books be chosen, however. Although you can learn from every book, some are more special. That is because such books don’t just extend one’s imagination or teach you the laws of physics and mathematics; they introduce entirely new paths to a person.

Below I have listed seven mathematics books that have had a massive impact on my life during or after I read them. While these books may not have the same effect on you, they will still be beneficial.

Naive Set Theory

In 2005, the class I struggled with the most at university was Ali Nesin’s Set Theory course. Before this class, university mathematics was done using numbers and operations of numbers. However, Set Theory class flipped everything I knew about math 180 degrees. The professor didn’t write a single number on the board during our 2-hour block lecture. The class was based entirely on abstract concepts, and I didn’t understand much.

One month later, I visited Professor Ali in his room and explained to him my struggle. He handed me Paul Hamos’ Set Theory book and told me to digest it. On the bus going home, I read the book’s first section, and it made me truly happy. I was learning a lot of material, and after that day, I started to enjoy the Set Theory lectures.

As English commentator Peter Drury said when Messi threaded three Real Madrid players and scored a great goal, it was “wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.” It is…


Math Teacher. Content Curator. Soccer player. Maradona fan. Mostly write about the lectures I love to learn better. alikayaspor@gmail.com

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