I have been following the discussion on the RWACraft loop about reading. Apparently it was triggered by comments at the conference this past summer - Linda Howard rarely reads anymore, Nora Roberts believes reading is extremely important - or at least that's what has been quoted. Some people have given up reading for pleasure. Others read but not in the genre they write. And others believe they can't possibly write well unless they also read.
That discussion and shopping for stocking stuffers has triggered my own thoughts about reading. It is a family tradition that each person gets at least one book in their Christmas stocking. Over the years my "stocking book" has reflected my current taste in reading and has included multiple genres but always romance - always fiction. I haven't picked out my stocking book for this year and actually I'm considering a craft book that was referenced in the reading discussion - "Reading Like A Writer" by Francine Prose.
Studying the craft of writing has definitely affected my ability to read for pleasure. In the past I would force myself to finish a book I didn't like in the hopes that it would get better in the end. Quite often I would realize something was wrong with the writing but couldn't quite put my finger on the problem. Now I find myself looking for the hero and heroine's GMC or analyzing the "black moment" and story resolution. I'm no longer satisfied with a shallow story and I've given myself permission to put a book in the give away box without finishing it.
On the up side, when I do find a book that hooks me I revel in the pleasure of reading. Now that I'm agonizing over word choices and plot points I'm less tolerant of sloppy writing. And more appreciative of well written books.
What about you? Do you still read?