Read like you mean it. I am a college student and all I ever hear about is close reading. Reading so that you understand the "text" as they say. Reading and marking things up; more than underlining and highlighting, I'm talking annotations, acronyms and yes, underlining and highlighting. They call this "marginalia" and as I stated, close reading. I call it reading like a writer. Let me explain.Read the whole thing. "Wannabes talk about writing, while writers actually write." That's how the proverb goes, and there's some truth in it. We all know posers who peer over the rims of their espresso cups while discussing elaborate plot treatments, yet somehow never get around to putting those lofty thoughts on paper. Still, the saying only tells half the story, because anyone who excels in his field needs to combine theory and praxis, to blend how to do what we do along with the actual doing of it. The truly skilled never divorce knowledge and action.
It is all well and good to read for inspiration but did you ever question how or why someone has written that beautiful sentence or constructed a paragraph the way they have? How all those elements, the sentence, paragraph, rhythm of the prose relates to the theme of the novel? If you have, you are reading like a writer.
(Picture: CC 2008 by DarkPaul)