As a former community college English instructor, I've spent a lot of time thinking about the sad state of American literacy. Why don't (many) people enjoy reading?
Reading helps you develop compassion, as you learn to experience life through other people's eyes. It helps you become a better writer, as you unknowingly pick up vocabulary, style and grammar. It opens up new options for how you might live your own life, as you see how others live.
Laurie Halse Anderson has a wonderful essay that is now several years old (an address she gave to high school English teachers) but I just came across it and it rang true for me. It moved me, actually.
It's called, Loving the Young Adult Reader Even When You Want to Strangle Him (or Her). I hope you enjoy it. Click here.