My own imaginary friends were all in books. I had them when things were very bad and when things were really horrid, I knew I could count on Nancy Drew or Tin-Tin to give me courage. I believed in them and they believed in me. I needed them as I grew up. I hid with Heidi on the Alps, I learned about nursing from Cherry Ames, and I discovered romance from Barbara Cartland. I lost money by hiding it inside books (Agatha Christie) and learned to love Hercule Poirot.
Even now, as an adult, I find some my best friends between covers of a book. They are constant and can go with me anywhere. I have favorite characters I pick up over and over. Judy, from 'Daddy-Long-Legs' is always teaching me new things. Other friends, they tend to be seasonal. Anything by Anne McCaffrey is read in February (her books are all about relationships), 'Hans Brinker' is in December, and in August I almost always end up experiencing the Tillamook Burn ('Fire on the Wind').
This summer, I was frustrated with how many books my mom had. Yet, I can understand her love of reading. I don't know if she reads for the same reasons I do, but I can see how her collection grew. I have an intense library and it is constantly added to. I'm grateful for ebooks in that it gives me a storage facility for totally different genres in a place that seems unlimited. (other than that, ebooks irritate me because I read them so much slower!)
To say I breathe and devour words is not just a phrase. I like to write, but it breaks into my reading time. Time belonging to my friends. The ones I've known for years and new ones I have yet to meet. And the ones I find on blogs!