I know that these posts are supposed to be genre based, but that's not goint to work for me.
For me, reading is life. I know it is for many of us on sites like this or Goodreads or Librarything. Pick your poision. You have more books than you know what to do with. The ereader is the book haul. Your bedroom or house is simply a place where you sleep or live with books. It's library with an alternate function.
I was, am, never the out going one. I am the shy one, the quiet one, the one with her head in the book because the best thing about human race in many class is literature. At first, books are an escape. There's magic. There's horses. There's dragons. The underdog wins. The unpopularity doesn't matter because the book doesn't care. You meet people like you in books. The characters don't give a damn what your hang ups are, and they don't betray you - at least not in the real world way. You can forget, submerge, be on Mars, Krynn, MIddle Earth, Medevial France, the Tudor Court, a mole in a hole.
And you can stop reading. You are in control and not in control. It's a good feeling.
Because books are there. Once, you just needed a library card. Now, you need a phone or computer.
Then you get older, and you realize that books teach you. That Robin McKinley's Hero and the Crown didn't just teach about story telling but about being a woman. That non-fiction is worth reading too, even if it is about those long dead people.
Non-fiction boards your mind. Fiction does too.
It keeps you sane because it is the rabbit hole and the ruby slippers. The way out, the way back. It can protect you from those other humans, yet educate you about them too.
It is a way to make friends.
One of my oldest friends is my friend because we both loved The Hero and the Crown. Today, we have many books in companion, and some we don't. I went to my first protest with my book club. Every friend I have on a site like Booklikes or Goodreads is there because of books. Books aren't about life; they are a key to life.
I love reading because it helped me find my voice.