"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ LotR, Bilbo
Writing a book is an adventure. But more importantly, it is your adventure. Each and every book in the world holds bits and pieces of its' author. It is the soul, the child, and masterpiece, of all they want to accomplish. Nobody ever started a book for no reason.
Books tell a lot about an author. They define the struggles, the aches and pains, the turmoil, in one person's heart. It glimpses the passions, desires, and longings that surround them. Pictures of rosie sunsets come on days when moods are high with excitement. Thunderstorms roll over the horizon of your world when days are gloomy and tears are hiding behind quivering eyelashes. This is not something a reader can know about. It is something only a fellow writer can feel and explain.
I know one thing is true for me. Every mood I am in sets the course for what I am writing. If I am angry, I write an angry scene. If I am excited, energy all round! If I am in pain, my poor character can expect a wound. This is not something I do just because it relieves me. I do it because, when I am mad, I can make sense of anger. When I am excited, my joy leaps to the skies. When I am hurting, I can describe the pain. Writing what you feel about something is a way to not only make it real, but make it alive.
Your own books are not the only ones that will speak to what you feel and write. The kind of books you read, the kind of books you like, are going to define your writing. They will shape and influence your style. And they will master the ideas and adventures that fly through your imagination.
I don't think anyone can claim to be a writer and not love to read books, to sit with them, to loose yourself inside them. Books are the end work of all we are trying to accomplish. If you cannot appreciate what another writer has completed, how can you except to find others to value yours.
I think it is good to surround yourself with an eclectic mixture of books, both for the development of your mind and your writing.
Find books with great plot structure. Find books with solid, flesh and blood characters. Find books with great dialogue, intriguing twists, and fantastic adventures. Find books that are different, books that are touching, books that are creative. Don't just read fantasy. Don't just read historical. Don't just read point-of-fact, news, or inspirational. Take every book for its own merit.
This was a bit of a rambling post, but I think it more or less spilled out what I wanted to say. *_*