I noticed how much I skim and scan while I read, hardly reading the same book, poem, or story twice. This exercise brings relief and allows me to soak in the words as if in a bath, admire them like a fascinating museum painting or a symphony, not rushing away so quickly. With each reading I gain a new perspective; I observe something I didn't see before in my chosen piece of writing.
When I begin to write again, I don't do so by merely copying what I read as if I don't trust myself to write something from my own self. Reading others' work carefully and with appreciation for each detail and image sets the mood for my own honest writing that comes from the truest part of me.