At first I wanted to completely disagree with this statement. I was shaking my head and thinking, ‘Nope. I read for fun, relaxation, entertainment.’ I don’t want to read as a writer because then it becomes ‘work’ and I love reading and never want to lose that passion.
But then I got to thinking about what it means to read as a writer. When I am reading I do think ahead sometimes and try to think about where the writer might take the protagonist or where the storyline may go. The ideas the writer had are the very ones I am trying to guess as I read. And what if the ending totally sucks? The first thing I say is, “I could have wrote a better ending to that!” So of course I am, once again, reading the story as a writer.
When I read something I pour myself into the words. I let the writer of the book drown me with their story basically. If someone can pull my attention away from the book I’m reading with a simple ‘hey’ then I’m not invested in that writer or their story. I haven’t yet found their voice, their purpose for writing.
When I am reading I make connections. I think, ‘that reminded me of…’ or ‘what does the writer mean by …’ and ‘what was so important about…?” By asking such questions I am reading like a writer.
Even though I read for my own pleasure and entertainment and I do LOVE to read, I must admit I do read like a writer. In fact, I watch movies like a scriptwriter as well because I do very much the same thing when watching films and television. I guess I can’t turn it off; I am who I am.