Reading matters. Invention of writing let people preserve and pass knowledge and things that matter through generation. So reading was basically designed to save people from making mistakes someone had already made, to save people from going down the paths, which are already explored. But the obvious reason — to gain knowledge and experience which otherwise would be more expensive to gain — is not the only why lots of media advice so much how you can read one book a week.
Reading can help you to form habit of completion, which is extremely important, because conscientiousness, associated with completion by definition, is the best predictor of many important human outcomes, including mortality, longevity, educational attainment, and a host of criteria related to career success, or at least so stated in «Organized mind».
Books, blogs and news get you to know different ideas and stories from different domains of knowledge (even if you read a lot, sticking only to one theme will require the same amount of effort, required just to read constantly).
Constant reading makes you more open-minded. Helps to build up a habit of acquiring new information easily, so you can actually understand something really quick, because you brain is accustomed to do that every day.
Reading gives an extremely valuable opportunity to look at the things on your plate from another point of view. So, stripped out of some context, they become detached from the emotions and sometimes that helps to come up with better ideas, to leash your demons, to forgive, to understand things you couldn’t get. Reading becomes a mirror, which helps to reflect on complex thoughts and problems and come up with a solution or a way to reframe something it makes sense.