Writing a novel in my opinion is so similar to reading a novel that I almost feel sometimes that the enjoyment of both are very similar. When you start reading a novel the characters are all new to you, you have to be introduced. This is very similar to when you are beginning to write a novel. Often times you don't even know some of the characters until you get well into the book. They just seem to pop up out of the blue.
Let's get back to reading which is enjoyable on its own. Getting to know the characters, the town, the setting, the conflict, the happy times, the disappointments. Very soon you are in the middle of a time, place and story that you never heard of before. You laugh with your characters, love them, hate them,root for them and long to get rid of some of them.
So now you're writing a novel...it's all brand new. You perhaps know the main characters. Or if you are like some people you know the whole story basically. You know the characters, the setting, the reason why you are writing it. But probably you don't know the personalities of the characters as they tend to grow as you move along in the story. It's really amazing how characters tend to take on their on personalities even though maybe you have just named them, fleshed them out as people, and put them in a certain situation. You will find as you move along in your writing that these characters know what they want to do.
So when writing a novel you are often more or less introduced to your characters as you write. It is as new as opening a book or downloading one and reading the lines that you've never read before. The experience you feel as you write each chapter, the satisfaction at the end of a chapter, the excitement to begin the next chapter, the tears that come to your eyes as you type the words your characters say. The feelings are much the same as reading some other writer's words. To not want a story to end is as much the same when you are writing as when you are reading. The advantage the writer has is that when you are done and put that final ending down, if you feel it, if you need to, if you really have to, you can once again resurrect your characters or some of them into another book. Then the fun and excitement starts all over again.
If you are reading you are left to the author's discretion if and when that author might renew those characters into another book. So all and all, writing a novel and reading a novel that someone else has written is not that much different. I find this all very interesting in comparison. So why do we read? Because we love a good story, it leaves us satisfied. Why do we write? The same reasons, to fulfill that something within us that must be complete.
Happy writing and reading everyone!