Many people read books.  Why read books?  It is important to consider the
importance of reading books and the possible benefits of reading books.

The Benefits of Reading Books

   There may be a few reasons to read books.  The possible benefits of reading
books may include (a) learning about new ideas, (b) experiencing empathy, (c)
having a sense of hope, and (d) finding greater meaning in life.
   One of the most basic reasons for reading a book is to gain knowledge of new
ideas.  Gaining knowledge and wisdom may have practical value, and it may also
foster a sense of meaning in life.
   Reading some books may allow one to have greater empathy.  Reading a detailed
description of a person in a book may help to imagine how the person may feel.  
This might lead to greater empathy for people who have experienced certain
events.  For example, reading about a person who has experienced long-term
unemployment may allow one to have greater empathy for people who are
unemployed and looking for work.
   Reading a book involving an inspiring story of a person who experienced harship
but was able to achieve a goal may help to have a general sense of hope.  It may
allow one to be optimistic about the future because one can imagine how certain
positive events may occur.
    Reading some books may help to find greater meaning in life.  For example,
reading a story of a person may foster a greater sense of meaning in one's life
because it might allow one to make sense of the events in one's own life.  Reading
the story of the person may help to imagine how and why certain events may occur.

The Psychology of Reading Books:  Reading Books and Personality

    One of the possible questions concerning the psychology of reading books is the
influence of reading books on one's personality.  Can reading certain books
influence one's personality?  Are self-help books effective in changing a person's
personality?   Below is an article that concerns the influence of reading self-help
books on self-actualization.  
The Psychology of Books:  Can Reading Self-Help Books Increase Self-Actualization?