Books make great companions. No matter where your child will be later on in life, he will never be alone if he has a book with him.
Traveling can be torturous, especially if you're just sitting around and waiting for the journey to end. But if you have a book to read, the journey will just fly past. If your child enjoys reading, then waiting will no longer be something horrific. He can just carry a book along with him wherever he goes, and when required to wait for something, he can open it and start reading.
True, many people who don't read novels enjoy going through the newspaper with a fine toothed comb. This is a good habit as well. But books provide you with an insight into another place and lifestyle like no newspaper can. You don't need to visit a place to know all about it if you have read the book. In fact, you can learn more about a place by reading about it than by making a touristy stop! Naturally though a book is no substitute to travel, but it does come close!
It is still important for you to inculcate the habit of reading the newspaper as well in your child, so he knows what is going on in the world and comes across as knowledgeable in social situations. The importance of this is not to be underestimated. Many a crucial contact can is established in social situations, so it is important to always come across as well informed.
Books stimulate the imagination and let it soar. They encourage creative thinking and thus exercise the brain. Imagination in a person is a great bonus as this also helps in problem solving later on in life. When your child is confronted by a problem, if he is creative and imaginative he can come up with a number of approaches to solving that problem.
A book improves language skills incredibly. A good reader will have a much better command of the language than someone who doesn't read. This could open up a number of career options for your child. He could become a novelist, writer for a newspaper or a magazine, he could work in a publishing company, in advertising, in television and so on.
Your child's vocabulary will improve with reading. It is a good idea for him to keep a dictionary with him and look up the meaning of all words he doesn't understand. This will make your child's reading experience all the more enjoyable.
A book helps you relax and forget about your daily troubles. It de-stresses you. This can be a great advantage later on in your child's life. He can sit down with a book every night before going to bed and unwind. Doing this will also impact his health - mental and physical, positively.
Being a reader also opens a person up to a number of social situations. Your child can join the book club and meet people there, he can become a member of the local library, he can discuss the books he has read with another book lover and so on.