That's the thing about reading - the way that almost any book, well written, and thoughtfully crafted, can completely transport you to another world. You don't want to put it down. You can utterly submerse yourself into the storyline and become a part of it.
The sad thing is when I'm writing, I'm not quite able to enjoy reading in the same way. It's like my brain fully rewires itself into "analyze mode" and all I can see is the technicality of the writing. I'm constantly picking apart each element of the novel, frequently going back and re-reading certain parts to see if they match up--it almost becomes very tedious, but I can't help it. While I still lose myself in the story, the expression "reading for fun" now has a different meaning for me.
Despite this, while I'm picking apart all these novels - I know it's because I'm learning. This never happened before when I was just writing for myself. Now that I'm positive I would like to someday be published, these are the sorts of things I am suddenly paying attention to. I'm learning not only about writing, but also about technique and myself--what works, what doesn't, what I enjoy, what I don't, how the story should flow, etc. When you really look at it, the book you're holding in your hands is something someone, somewhere thought was good enough to be printed - we can all learn from that.
Don't get me wrong - I can never stop loving reading - it's almost like breathing to me, it's just a different experience when I'm writing at the same time :).
Does this ever happen to you? Have you found that reading has changed for you since you became serious about writing?