Do you read books to get inspired or purely for pleasure?
A piece of advice most authors always give is to read other authors, now is that to get ideas or see how others are doing, or is it to check out the competition?
I like to read for pleasure, but I do gain some inspiration from some of my favorite authors in the sense of their wit and also how they build up their characters. It also helps me with formatting as some say chapters should be X long or you must have Y numbers of protagonists. When you read a successful novel that goes against these alleged rules it helps you to write more freely.
Having studied English Literature at University, it can actually destroy the pleasure of reading as you dissect the book into themes and the characters you break them down as you read the book. I'm much happier reading a book, and then going back to look at the plot, where it picked up and where the characters were introduced. These are much more helpful to me than a guidebook on what a novel should contain.