The concept means not to read just in your intended genre, but to read massive amount of books from widespread genres. Reading helps you see what is working on the page, and what isn't. It also helps to read different styles of writing because you can hone your craft to be your own. Rather than trying to write the next Harry Potter, you can pull from all the different styles you have learned from over the years to show your strength as a writer.
I have always been an avid reader. One of my earliest memories of a child is reading my first book. It was Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham, and I was just about to enter pre-school. Reading has always been a part of me and it grew more as I got older. My love of reading was one of the catalysts that led me to become a writer.
I liked to write early on, but it wasn't until I read Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries that I really began to take my writing seriously. I wanted to be Cabot...I kind of still do. That woman has been churning out books left and right, and I admire both her work ethic and her talent. Back then, I consumed young adult books as much as I could. I also heavily read the Star Wars expanded universe books, and quite a bit of fantasy novels. I read anything I could get my hands on, and I still do.
I don't think I'm quite there yet with my craft, but I'm working hard to get there. So in addition to writing, revising, and writing some more, I take a lot of time to read a variety of genres. I also spend a lot of time of Goodreads. Although, sometimes I think I spend more time reading about books I want to read rather than actually reading.
Writing well is not just about editing and revising, you also have to read, read, read!
Happy Reads Everyone!