Once you get past a certain point in the journey to becoming a writer, reading loses it's simple pleasure. It becomes a multi-layered experience.
I can still lose myself in a book if it is good - if it isn't, I don't stand a chance. In a good book, I tend to find myself looking for the strings and trying to peek behind the curtain, though, which does spoil the fun of being a reader. Even the best books are unlikely to surprise me lately, and I miss that uncomplicated relationship with story, where you're along for the ride.
But I love trying to work out how my favourite authors have achieved a sleight of story, or created the emotion or flavour that I've enjoyed. Being able to combine two of my favourite activities - reading and writing - in pursuit of a single goal is pretty wonderful. How often does that happen in life? And reading consciously means you really appreciate a book, and all that the author has done...although, perhaps you're no longer enjoying the book as the author intended.
I may not have time and money for a creative writing course at the moment, but I have masters of the craft at my fingertips, and through some self-initiated study, I can learn a lot. So when I ask Santa for a pile of books for Christmas, it's all in the name of self-improvement and work, and nothing at all to do with escapism, widening experience or the joy of a good story......honestly. Maybe you should ask Santa for some new reading material too, and spend the holiday with your nose to a page...?