I'm a true believer that writers should be reading... a lot! I've been so busy with life lately, I haven't been able to read as much as I'd like to, but what I have read lately has been inspiring as far as writing goes.
From Scott Westerfeld's THE LAST DAYS:
"Though her long arms were thin and wiry, her muscles were almost as defined as mine...Her movements were slow and pointy, articulated in the wrong spots. I couldn't take my eyes off her: it was like watching a stick insect walk along a branch" (page 78).
Now... while this breaks a couple of "rules" that aspiring writers are *told* to follow, notice what it does very well: describe.
While this is not my favorite book of all times, I did find several passages that I HAD to mark - because of the writing.
Here's another (a simple sentence, and it I felt compelled to mark it):
"I couldn't remember why being miserable had seemed so important" (page 91).
Another thing I learned from reading this book:
Repeated phrases can get pretty annoying. I understand Westerfeld was probably trying to create separate identities for the characters, but by the fifth time a phrase, such as: "That was kind of lateral" (page 98), came along, I found it very irritating.
Anyhow, taking a break to read a book in between revisions could be a very helpful and insightful process. Mark pages while you're reading, because if you're anything like me, you'll forget the inspiration by the time you reach the end of the book.