I've read over and over how a lot of authors’ love of books led to their writing careers. Other than school books and fairy tales I didn't read the first real book until I was sixteen. It was my first romance novel, and recommended by a friend. That hooked me on reading romance, but my desire to become a writer happened long before any of that.
I can still recall the short stories I wrote on notebook paper, some while in school, when I was ten. At thirteen I received a manual typewriter for Christmas, and I can't tell you how many ribbons I went through. Typing paper? I wrote so many stories that I began to type on both sides of the paper. I still have some of those stories today, on yellow paper and almost impossible to read.
The funny thing is back then all of my love stories had sad endings. I could speculate why, coming from a broken home and being bullied in school, but my writing was therapy for me for many years. I was able to lose myself in an environment that I controlled. Eventually I evolved, with a little help from real life and realizing that there were some happy endings out there. Now I'm a firm believe that you don't kill of the hero, and all my romances have happy endings.
Today I read for enjoyment and inspiration, and it does help my writing. I’d have to say that reading makes me a better writer. It might not have been a love of books that launched my dreams of becoming an author, but discovering them gave me the fuel I needed to keep writing.