I was a guest author on a mystery panel at a local library last week, and we were asked the question: How much do you read while you are writing a book,and do you worry that what you are reading will influence your writing?
I read constantly. I read before I go to sleep, while I eat lunch, in doctors' waiting rooms, while I brush my teeth (yes, I really do), and other odd moments throughout the day. And with the things that happen in my life, I have quite a few really odd moments.
But I don't worry that what I read will influence what I write in more than the most subtle ways. I learn from my reading, and am constantly motivated to write better because of what I read.
I don't understand people who say they don't have time to read. For me, reading is like breathing. Would I not have time to breathe? If I didn't read, how would I know how to write?