Writers are encouraged to become veracious readers. I’ve never really had a problem with that. The library became like my second home when I was a kid. There are many reasons writers benefit from reading. I’m sure I won’t be able to list them all.
Writers read to see what is popular (perhaps try to understand why it became a bestseller. Although with some books I just don’t get it). Writers read to see how a fellow author handles a subject, character issue, scene, etc. This has helped me immensely. Writers read in the genre they write to see what is trending and to make sure their idea is fresh. Often beginning writers are encouraged to copy the classics dating all the way back to Shakespeare to understand story structure, character development etc.
While reading is important to help a writer work through a difficult issue in their current WIP or find their unique voice, I have found right now the major benefit for me is refreshing my vocabulary.
Writers soon learn all the common cliches and how to avoid them. Even though my vocabulary has expanded each year I’ve found I have my favorite words. For instance, my characters like to fold their fingers. They never flex their fingers. My characters’ muscles tense they seldom stiffen. Reading reminds me of alternatives to my favorite words. Every once in a while I even learn a new word. It is exciting for me when I have to run to the dictionary.