I have heard (and read) it said that reading for entertainment might be just another way of wasting time; a self indulgent, even selfish, activity. Some comment that a non fiction book is educational while a fiction is simply fluff and meant only to supply a means of escape from reality.
While there have been times when a means of escape has been a very welcome thing in my life, I have found that even an enchanting, fanciful story can be mind expanding in its own way. A well written book has a way of broadening our horizons even while we sit curled up on the couch.
When you read a lot, proper spelling and grammar become second nature to you. Children that learn to love reading early in life have a great advantage in their schooling as they will find reading assignments a breeze and writing will come somewhat naturally to them.
Aside from these more obvious advantages, many authors have the ability to teach us important lessons about human nature. The development of fictional characters will be drawn from real people an author has known or read about, and, in a believable fiction, the character's interactions can teach us a lot about life without leaving the safety of our own homes. This is not to say that reading is a substitute for real life - only that it may help us to accept and understand different personality types in our own personal interactions.
A historical fiction can certainly make history come to life by making us a part of it through its word pictures and character experiences.
A person that loves to read usually does find it a good way to relax and unwind. This is the perfect frame of mind for absorbing information that will perhaps come in handy at a later date or have the ability to entertain again when thoughts return to a scene or a character's experience.
I believe that reading offers both escape and education. Always one to want to improve my mind, I know that books have greatly enhanced my life through the years. I am thankful that reading has always come easy to me and I encourage parents to make it an important and enjoyable part of their children's lives at an early age, assuring that they will enjoy reading for pleasure and for necessity throughout their lives.