Is there any evidence that a prolific readers are better equipped to write than a non-reader?
At first I'd suggest the answer is a no-brainer but on further speculation - I'm not convinced. I scan the questions on this site and cannot understand how people who frequently read novels appear not to understand basics such as structure.
I also wonder: if your input for a novel comes exclusively from other novels isn't that like . . . inbreeding?
Inbreeding is never a good thing.
I know I've adopted a couple of techniques that I certainly have not learned from books.
Writers and literary industry in general fail to recognise that more than half the world doesn't read fiction. And whilst readers claim to be intellectually superior to others I received a controversial claim from a non-reader - "The data stream is too slow".
In support of the inbreeding theory we can look at the general behaviour of two groups.
Sports-fans: Root for their heroes. Hope for a positive outcome. Are upset if they are informed of the outcome before the end.
Novel readers: Root for their heroes. Insist on a positive outcome. And general know the outcome before they start (boy invariably gets girl, good overcomes evil).
And then there's the politics and marketing. If a non-reader wrote a best-seller and admitted he didn't read it would be commercial suicide. Telling aspiring writers who have spent years polishing and submitting manuscripts that they've been wasting their time would go down like a lead balloon. People don't want to hear 'bad news' they prefer fake news. Ergo, this question will probably be put on hold before being removed.