Reading has been my primary coping task, throughout my life. I read to relax. I read to learn. I read to work. I read to understand. There is no part of my life that is unaffected by reading. To read is to live. To live is to read.
Reading has been a constant, since I taught myself how at a very young age. Even so, it can change in nature. When I write, when I write constantly, the way I read begins to change radically. Suddenly, my awareness of the words and language and meaning and message are heightened. I no longer passively absorb information. I find myself, instead, rewriting every word I read. I change the words. I change the stories. I am never content to simply hear the words as written. They become a form of clay and my hands are immediately plunged in deep, distorting and reforming, taking in and changing everything.
It doesn’t seem to be something I can turn off. I might stop reading when I get like this, for the information is less useful, as information. However the manipulation of the writing is itself highly creative, and it can be a delight to find out what I can make of the next piece I read. If you can call it that.
This is one of the reasons I consider copyright a fundamentally broken concept. Every instance of a creative piece is itself a creative act. The art we bring to an event exceeds the art that is provided. We, each and every one of us is always the artist. Every claim to own a creative piece is based on falsehood.