Books are windows into the past. They define cultures in the time in which it was written and after the authors are long rested in their graves. The ideas presented in between the covers of a book are born through the author's own experiences with life, whether indirectly or directly. Because of this, books will always remain as an important historic study and entertainment.
Now for the actual prompt: What role does reading play in your writing process?
Since I was an avid reader when I was a child, I have learned the basics of writing. I noticed a pattern for proper dialogue formatting, structuring stories, and pacing. My vocab expanded, and I grew to be a storage of random knowledge that came about from my tower of books. What I write stems from all the words authors string together to create the wonderful stories that spun through my youth. Obviously, my English teachers had an impact on my grammar and studies as well, but my skills were strengthened through repeated exposure to reading.
My love of reading is what lead me to wanting to write my own stories down. I wanted to recreate the magic that I saw through books. I mean, how cool is it that people stare at dead trees and somehow pick out understanding from the wonky symbols on a page? Boom! Even better, some books force you head on into problems you otherwise ignore. Stories are sneaky and can shake up what is considered normal. They influence people in ways that excite me. Most people don't expect to change their views when they pick up a book, but it's possible for it to happen.
In conclusion, reading is an awesome power all it's own. I recommend indulging in it.
*Image courtesy of Google ;)