Reading isn't required to be a good writer, but it certainly assist. It's useful to know what's already been done in your genre before creating a novel. It also helps to be aware of current trends, what sells well and why, and where other authors in your category are heading. However, even with all this information, you should still feel free to break away from convention if you can come up with a better way to approach your story.
As for reading itself, yes, you do need to read to be a good writer. You cannot write well if you don't read well. Reading gives you the opportunity to experience thoughts and emotions not your own, which then allows you to translate them into words on the page. The more you read, the better writer you will become.
The only thing reading won't teach you is how to write a novel. That requires talent that no book could ever provide. All it can do is help develop your understanding of the craft by showing you what has worked for others before you. From there, you can decide for yourself what path to take.
It will help you understand what makes effective writing and also expand your vocabulary. Having said that, if you're not a reader, you may still write. But if you don't absorb tales in some manner, preferably by reading, you're unlikely to become the type of writer that other people read.
You might want to start with some of these books: "Writing Tools" and "The Elements of Style" are two classics of literature reviews/tips for writers.
Perhaps for some. Nonetheless, most authors take delight in being readers first and foremost. In general, to be a brilliant writer, you must be an ardent reader. The more you know about the art of writing and how it's applied to literature, movies, and television, the better prepared you will be to create stories that keep your readers enthralled.
Writers are a curious breed. Something fresh. Something exciting. And we find such things by reading. We read history books, science fiction novels, romance stories, even crime dramas and documentaries. The more we learn about language and narrative technique from these sources, the better we become at using them ourselves.
For example, when I write a novel, I often look to history for inspiration. So I read lots of nonfiction books about ancient Rome and Greece, for instance. This helps me avoid making certain storytelling mistakes, like forgetting to give my characters motivations or misunderstandings that hinder their relationships with one another.
Additionally, writers tend to be very opinionated people. This is fine as long as those opinions are well-reasoned and based on evidence from multiple sources.
You don't have time (or the resources) to write if you don't have time to read. The most essential thing, like I did, is to read as much as possible. But your audience will consider you one-dimensional.
The more you know about your topic, the better you'll be able to convey it in writing. This includes knowing your audience and their needs/wants. If you can identify these early on, you can provide solutions for their problems/needs while still being relevant to them.
Writing is a skill that can be learned, just like any other. Practice makes perfect! There are many ways to improve your writing skills including reading articles online, from students' work papers, to magazine/newspaper clips. Also, listening to others' conversations and jotting down important points can help you improve your own writing abilities.
Finally, remember to have fun! Writing is a craft that requires passion and enjoyment in order to produce quality content.
"You can't be a decent writer unless you're a voracious reader." If you want to be a writer, you must prioritize two activities: reading and writing. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad—to discover how they do it. Eventually, you'll write something worth reading.
Read avidly and intelligently, and try to learn from others, especially from the best writers in history. But most of all, read for the love of it, read because you enjoy it, because you want to understand better what's going on in the world around you, because you believe that knowledge is power. Don't just read, understand!
The more you know, the better you will be at writing. So start now, read!
I'm aware of no way around these two problems, no shortcut... "Writing is the result of reading, and reading is the finest instructor of how to write." When you read, you learn what not to write. You learn how not to waste words, how to structure a sentence, how to use appropriate tone, and so on. In other words, reading teaches you how not to screw up as a writer.
There are many great writers who started out as poor readers. William Shakespeare is a good example of this. He could not spell today but that was probably because he knew how to write about magic spells and such so spelling wasn't that important to him. However, he did read a lot (probably like everyone else in his time) and that's why we have the advantage of having such brilliant language today. Without reading, we would be at the mercy of our copywriters which wouldn't be good.
So, yes, a writer needs to be a reader. But there is no set rule on how much time you need to spend reading to be considered a good writer. It depends on you. Some people read for hours every day while others may only read for a few minutes here and there.
In general, authors advise anyone who wish to improve to do two things: write more and read more. More writing is an obvious one since it exposes us to other styles, voices, formats, and genres of writing. Importantly, it exposes us to writing that is superior to our own and assists us in improving. Reading is also important for improvement since we can learn about what makes a story work effectively from others' efforts.
Authors such as Stephen King and Gabriel Garcia Marquez have said many times that the only real rule for becoming a better writer is to write every day. This could not be more true since constant writing allows us time to think about what we've written and how to make it better. It also gives us a chance to experiment with different styles and voices since nothing is set in stone when it comes to writing fiction.
Additionally, writing more often than not leads to writing better since we will have more experience and knowledge about what makes a story effective and what doesn't. We will also have more ideas since there's no limit to how many words can be put on a page. Finally, writing more often means spending less time wondering if someone else won't hire us because we're not famous enough or haven't sold anything before.
So yes, writers should write more and read more.