As a writer, I know it's important to read, in order to improve my craft. This is not a hard task. I've always loved reading, though my choice and preferred genre has probably moved considerably since the Famous Five series and The Valley of the Dolls. I used to read at the breakfast table, walking to school, helping to dress my younger siblings, and even under the covers by torchlight.
However, reading as a child and as a reader is a much more satisfying experience than reading as a 'writer'.
You don't have any of those little voices in your head which insist on looking for rounded characters, distinctive dialogue which don't need speech tags, consistent point of view, showing not telling, plenty of conflict and of course a good old plot to follow. I'm not saying that readers don't notice these things, they do and will make choices based on these elements about whether a book was a 'good and satisfying' read or not. It's just that they don't particularly label or define their satisfaction or dissatisfaction in detail. Well, not in general anyway. As a writer, learning the craft, I find it so difficult to just sit back and enjoy a story. I'm always deconstructing it to try and uncover why I like a particular character or hate them at first read. Or murmuring into my coffee cup ' that's telling, not showing', or tutting at the scene where numerous 'head hopping' is ruining my concentration. All things, that as a writer, I have to strip down and build up again to ensure that the story is not only technically written well, but has a good chance of pleasing the intended reader.
This tendency I suppose on the one hand must be a good thing, because it shows that I am indeed learning the craft. Maybe one day, it will all become second nature to me and I can return to reading (or not as the case maybe) for the pure pleasure of entering a world of someone else's making.
Don't Think Just Write