Reading while writing is something I've tried not to do before now. I'm okay with reading while on break in between drafts but not while actively writing. In the past I have found it not only distracts me but I also have a fear of stealing from the books I might read. While writing my current WIP I was tempted by the Inheritance Trilogy. I have finished Eragon and Eldest. I have also managed to slog my way past the halfway point of my word count goal, and I'm about to start chapter 11. It is true that I find reading while writing is distracting. It is much easier to slip into a finished novel than to be carving your own book out of nothing. I have found though that I'm not afraid of stealing, but only because I was very careful when choosing something to read. Eragon is fantasy while my current WIP is more contemporary YA. Also, my first two mc's,both of which get their turn at being the pov character, are female. Had I been writing from a male pov I might have found a little trouble. I will soon face this dilemma because my third mc to steal the pov is male. I will consider pausing the Inheritance trilogy if it interferes with my writing. But for now, I will continue to read and write ;)
Keep on keeping on!