Books enter the lives of most authors early on, and accumulate like small sand dunes or softly drifting snow in the corners and interstices of their lives -- pretty much ever after.
There is a reason for this. Authors are readers first. They read the way they breathe: naturally, on impulse, as if satisfying an instinctual need. Not everyone feels this need. They have other needs and impulses, instead.
Maybe, as children, they enjoyed playing with tools, or gathering the neighborhood kids into teams for kickball or tag. Or maybe they were the kind who read books and did all these other things, too. But if they grew up to be authors, there came a time when reading took over for them, when it became a constant companion, instead of a rainy day thing.
That's when the magical possibility of being a writer happened, when they fell in love with the worlds that words create. And wanted to write into existence worlds of their own, in the same way.
Because aren't we all living a dream we love to dream? What we do each day corresponds to what we love and are in the middle of dreaming into being.
If you love your dream of being an author, that's exactly what you will dream into existence. Books will keep you company and shine a light on your path, while you write your way there.
But if you love your dream of being something else, there will be other things that keep you company and shine a light on your path. One of the best of those things may still be a book.
Books offer solace. It's why some become authors. And why most of us read.