Man this got me back….. I haven't thought of some of these things in a long time
what you are describing is very similar to my experiences, especially the “superpower” part …. I, as well, have had a very similar relationship with reading, and my “superpower” ( just as yours) faded away somewhere in the early 20-s….
I sometimes wondered what happened- never could quite figure it out ( for a while I thought it was because of the real-life experiences I was getting at the time, but then I figured it can not be that simple)
I suppose that there was a point in which I stopped reading the way I used to read ( immersing myself in the text completely and becoming a part of the world in which the book I was currently reading was set) and started to analyze everything I read. It probably had to do with the University ( masters in comparative literature — Hurrraaaaay- what a useful diploma) and what I was picking up at the time- meaning learning to read “beyond” the primary appearance of the sentence and see what lies behind it- what else is the writer telling us besides what is explicitly written ….. U know, the usual literary studies.
Maybe another way to say it would be that I stopped reading that way once I stopped looking at a book as some sort of magic, in it’s entirety — and instead started seeing all the pieces, patches, elements and the work that have been put into writing that book — —
Suppose that the magic only functions if we do not recognize it as such- the moment we loose the ability to be enchanted, we also loose our own spells