Ideally the reading experience should begin from birth. Reading to children while they are still babies forms a parent/child bond - a calming experience. Reading is important for a child's literacy development and opens up a world of knowledge. Reading is a pleasurable pastime which leads one to new information about a particular subject being not only enjoyable but also a learning experience. It introduces a new and richer world, a world of enjoyment, learning, a world of fantasy about a variety of places, things, people, topics and a world of sharing. It increases one's vocabulary, communication skills, confidence, ability to concentrate and a variety of writing styles. Reading improves spelling when seeing the written word. The more people read the more informed they become and the more able to educate themselves further and research new topics.
The ability to read also improves one's comprehension skills necessary in the work force to understand contracts, instructions, manuals, directions, warning signs - the list goes on...
Today one can read books, magazines, journals, newspapers as well as books online, books in Braille and in a vast number of languages. Reading allows one to escape into another world. If I do not have a book to read I feel there is something missing. Reading gives me company, relaxation, entertainment and information. Reading matters for one's personal development.
People read for a variety of reasons as above and including filling in time at airports. The reading experience is very personal because you read according to your needs at the time. You read what interests you. Your tastes are not the same as other people's.
In conclusion reading is an enriching, rewarding experience, be it for pleasure, gaining information or improving one's life skills.