I think being an avid reader does make a better writer. As you read, you are not only taking in the information or entertainment of the book, but you are learning writing style; what you like, what makes you want to move on in the story.
You can also learn how not to write, what about a certain book bores you, or makes you want to put it down. It is all a learning process.
You cannot be hurt by reading anything and everything you can get your hands on. Everything in life that has a word on it was written by someone - so all reading is like studying a textbook on the subject of writing. It opens ups new worlds as well as increasing your ability to write.