First of all, I know only a couple of happy people, and most of those are definitely not readers.
Second of all, the person I know who’s read the most books, is a very unpleasant person. Basically a total snob, who looks down on everyone. If that’s what you get from reading thousands of books, then perhaps, you can keep your books. Plus, he sounds very intellectual, but I’ve had far more interesting conversations with people who have done some actual living, like workers in chocolate factory or cleaning ladies. The man I’m talking about could only say stuff he’d read somewhere. Ironically, the man can’t write. So on top of all, reading a lot does not make you a great writer.
What avid readers seem to have in common, is that they couldn’t build a happy life for themselves outside of the pages. Count me among those. So as a refugee camp for the disenchanted with every day life, I suppose it’s fine, all those piles of books. Am getting a bit melancholic thinking about people, myself included, who have to substitute feeling alive through books, but ok.
Third of all, most books exist because some person didn’t feel he or she was good enough without a book to show he/she was alive at some point, and needed an ego orgasm, not because they actually have something to say.
Fourth of all, the book industry is an industry just like any other.
Fifth of all, I’ve read about 700 books since my 17th birthday. Some people claim they have read thousands and I very much doubt that. 700 books cover to cover and they didn’t make me any happier, if anything I feel that with every book I read I isolate myself still further from those who do not read (definitely the majority) and risk becoming the lonely snob I’ve mentioned earlier.
Some studies claim reading fiction makes you fall asleep more peacefully, increases your empathy, and obviously, expands your vocabulary.
If you enjoy reading, then fine, but I see quite a lot of people who think reading a lot of books is a natural step on the road of becoming a millionaire. It completely isn’t. If your goal is to become a millionaire then reading books is merely a distraction.
If it’s a pleasant distraction, then ok, but don’t feel better than others because of it, and it won’t make you rich, unless you are a hot shot publisher in New York.