Most readers' eyes glaze over when they encounter more than several lines in a novel about the place setting. Chances are, this happens because the author's eyes were glazed over when he wrote them.
Proactive description serves many purposes. Perhaps you've heard gurus say that the world around you mirrors who and what you are. You may not believe that about real life, but it's true of the fictional world surrounding the characters in a novel. What the characters think about what they see, tells you more about them than the scene itself.
In today's Writer's Notebook, I use three short example from my novel to show what I mean. Stop by and tell me what you think.