You are right in being concerned about the advice you have been given. The process of beginning to read is complex but can be fun. Children really do vary when it comes to the first time they pick up a book and confidently read.
Some children even look like they are reading at quite a young age, when really, they are repeating what they have heard – which is fun and part of the process. As a parent the best thing we can do to help children learn is provide them with a rich language environment; talking clearly and often describing all around you, point out signs and written print – explaining what it is, read to the children everyday (there are many great children’s books and I found many great books in second hand book stores or the library), show the children you read, share magazine print, or newspaper print (my children loved the comic section), expand and support the children’s imagination – a stick, a scarf or spoon can be many things. Describe a sequence of events. "I am going to put the washing on. I read the dial. I pack the machine with clothes. I read the washing detergent bottle/box to know how much to put in."
There are many opportunities in life where we can support a rich language experience – the world is full of print. The children will show you the print they are interested in. (I had a son who was fascinated by murder mystery and humour, and a daughter who read music scores at a young age - and anything to do with music.) Make it fun!