Have you all heard the push to read to your child 20 minutes a day? I am sure you have, especially if you ever watch PBS!
I have read to both of my kids from birth. I find it to be so important and valuable. My parents read to me, and I am sure I am a smarter person because of it. I love to read, I know how to read, I feel comfortable reading, and I turn to books to find answers (everything from scripture to parenting advice).
First, let me offer the disclaimer that I earned a BS majoring in English, with an emphasis on Technical Writing. So of course I love reading and of course I think it is valuable.
I was shocked a few months ago when a friend of mine had a son starting Kindergarten. He was her first child in school. They require parents to read to their child for at least 20 minutes every day. She was saying what a challenge it was to fit that in. I was shocked that it wasn't already part of their day! Her son is a really smart kid and does great with his schoolwork, but I am sure there is value being added to his life now that he reads every day.
There is no real way to know for sure the benefits of reading because you can't take the same kid in a controlled environment and read to him, then put him back to the same age and not read and see what happens. At best, findings are good guesses. I am just saying I think it is of great worth.
We go to the library every two weeks and get a load of new books to read. We also own a lot of books. Both of my kids LOVE books. It is a wonderful time to cuddle. It is a great way to wind down. It is an effective time to learn. Brayden knew his ABCs on sight long before he turned two. He has phenomenal verbal skills, both for a boy his age and for a child his age. He gets to see so much more of the world through books then he ever could day to day. I am not saying I want his entire life to be lived through books, but a chunk of time each day is so valuable. Kaitlyn squeals in delight every time I open a book (incidentally, a book is a great way to keep your baby/toddler occupied while they need to be quiet--like at church).
So I implore you to make reading an important part of your day. I just can't see you ever regretting you did so.