You see, I grew up reading. Probably because my mom was ALWAYS reading. She'd get lost in a book and not come out until it was finished. We loved it when she let herself read on schooldays, because that meant we didn't have to do school (don't worry, she knew her weakness and that didn't happen often). I do the same thing nowadays, and the Orclette has caught on. "Momma, can we watch Diego because you have a book?" Real quote. She's a smart one, that daughter of mine. She knows that when momma has a book it means unlimited episodes of Diego, because I HAVE TO KNOW HOW IT ENDS. And just like my mother before me, I know my weakness, and try to have as few days like that as possible.
I want to transfer this love of reading to my kids. They already think books are awesome and they love going to the bookstore and library, so I think I have a good shot. Not to mention Damm and his voracious tendencies when it comes to anything Sci Fi. They have two awesome role models.
The importance of reading cannot be overstressed, in my opinion. And your subject range needs to be diverse. Escapist fiction, surreal fiction, Oprah fiction (i.e. anything sad and depressing), all the non-fiction out there, etc. Currently I only read escapist fiction in my spare time. After reading the heavy tomes they call textbooks I have no appetite for Proust or Tolstoy. I stick with Julie Czerneda, the Liaden Universe novels, McCaffrey, etc. Pure invention, not many ties to the actual world we live in.
So, go out and buy/borrow a book. Patterson has a new one (when does he not? It helps that at this point he's collaborating with authors). Tina Fey has a book out. Look for her face and really big hairy man arms. Water for Elephants is popular, as is The Game of Thrones, due to the movies made about them. I recently read Cassandra Clare's City of Fallen Angels. I'm not sure I can say I liked it, because she got way more serious and intense than in her previous books. But my tolerance for weird and awful has almost disappeared, and you may think it's awesome.
So there you go. And if you're curious, the book I'm thinking of reading next in order to have read all 50 titles that someone thinks everyone should read is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. It was all the rage a few years ago.