As a kid I was a always a loner.
Reading gave me an escape, even more so sometimes friends.
I would get caught up in the Chrestomanci or Harry Potter series. Following the stories and adventures of kids roughly my age, growing up with them in some cases.
Reading allowed me to experience some of the important life lessons early.
I am a very visual person, I would be able to read the context and visualize the events in my head. This would help in actually experiencing emotions and thought process of all the characters I became so attached to.
I owe so much to reading, without books I feel I would have missed out on so much more as a kid.