For the firt few years that I lived in Japan, I would buy English books very rarely - maybe one or two a year. Books are generally fairly expensive here, and bookshops with English book sections tend to only stock the most popular and most mainstream English books, which isn't necessarily what I want to read. So I kept myself happy with Japanese books and TV.
I have realised, though, after starting to use most of my spare time to read, that not reading was, while not actively making me unhappy, not something that I should ever let myself do again. I had forgotten how good it feels to lose yourself in a book (something which I've only recently been able to do with Japanese books - it's hard to lose yourself when you're reaching for a dictionary every few words), and how spending time reading is never something that I regret doing.
Now I've well and truly caught the reading bug again. I find myself reading if I wake up a few minutes early, reading while I'm eating breakfast, reading on the train, reading in my lunch break when I end up eating alone (and secretly praying for more of those days), trying to read and cook (I do NOT recommend this!), and reading before I go to bed.
I owe a lot of this to Laura (of Devouring Texts), as finding her review of "The Year of the Flood" by Margaret Atwood opened my eyes to the world of book blogging, and book podcasts, which have been making me want to spend all of my time every day reading. Thank you Laura!
I have a lot of books to catch up on, the list of books that I want to read is getting slightly ridiculous, and I'm starting to leave my house to go to work later and later (just one more chapter syndrome!), but I feel so much happier now in general than I have done for a while.
In conclusion... books are great, did you know?!