Really, they do. There was one semester in college where I was pretty overwhelmed. I had a heavy class load, lots of homework, some outside commitments and a little bit of Roommate Drama. Nearing the end of the semester I had to face the fact that I had become bitter, angry and frustrated. One weekend, sick of myself and not caring whether or not I failed, I pulled out a novel and began to read.
After a couple hours I felt pleasantly rejuvenated. Even better, I felt almost happy again. That was when I realized that overcome with everything going on I had stopped reading. Seeing firsthand the difference it made in myself I vowed never to completely stop reading again. There have been times when I only manage a sentence or two a day but I still do it. It’s part of my well being, like eating healthy and exercising. Well, I do exercise (cause I can listen to books on tape) and I mostly eat healthy…..
I know some writers who stop reading when they’re working on a novel. I know some that won’t read in their genre/time period, and some that will only read in their genre/time period. Everyone has a system that works for them, that helps them be their best. Mine is to keep a book within arm reach so if everyone is fed and clean and occupied and no one needs me for five seconds that five seconds can be spent reading. Trust me; we’re all happy I do.