Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash
I read the words, but I'm rarely conscious of the words on the page while reading fiction. Instead, I see the story, hear the dialog, played out in my mind. I feel and see the character's thoughts, expressed on their faces. Tension or joy in their movements. Murderous intent or relief in their eyes.
This happens even with crappy writing, and sometimes with non-fiction, if the writing lends itself to imagery. History books, for example, often describe people and their lives, places and I start to process the text the same way as fiction.
I've always read this way, for as long as I can remember. It's the reason I am bothered when fiction writers drop in a dry infodump that is all data with no context - it's like running into a white wall with nothing to look at, nothing to feel.
Edit to add - It's not a conscious thing, it just happens. The only time I have to work at it is if there are other distractions in the room, my mind, my life.
This. Exactly. I was going to respond properly, but there's no need as you captured what I was going to say perfectly.