"I do not read a lot of books."
Your friend is correct. For the English sentence provided, the above Japanese is the correct translation because "I don't read a lot of books" refers to the amount of books being read ie. Takusan is an adjective and describes the amount of books being read. If however you want to describe the negative frequency of books being read then you would use anmari because it is an adverb and describes/modifies verbs. If the English sentence was "I rarely read books" then "hon wo anmari yomimasen" would be correct.
Yeah I learned あんまり as well and I'm pretty sure I've heard it used in Japan but it seems both are correct according to the kun readings of the kanji 余り you can see on the right column at : http://jisho.org/search/%E3%81%82%E3%82%93%E3%81%BE%E3%82%8A
wa is always a topic marker. in the comments' example, wa marks watashi as the topic, then uses wo to connect the book to the action being done to it. in the original sentence, the object of the action (the book) is not directly connected to the action of reading. so Wa is used to mark book as the topic, and you can infer that it is an action from the adverb amari. I think wo is used to directly connect the object to the verb, if there is an extra word in between it seems like we shouldnt use wo
because the first shows amount (takusan) of (no) item/s (books) - the latter would be book/s of a lot. In other words, in your first example you have an adjective modifying/describing a noun - this is correct. In your second example you have a noun modifying an adjective - grammatically incorrect/impossible.
"I do not read a lot" refers to frequency, but appending "of books" does make it appear to refer to quantity. However, the two seem functionally identical (can you read often without reading a lot?) and I think a casual speaker would plausibly use the phrase to refer to frequency.
Perhaps it should be "I do not read books a lot"? Or "Books: I don't read them a lot."
Wo (pronounced "o") is a particle denoting the object, so "I (the subject) like books (the object)" books would be denoted with "o". In the case of saying you don't like something, you generally use "wa", which denotes the topic, to make your sentence clear. It's basically emphasis. "As for books (the topic), I don't like them", but bc Japanese relies heavily on context, you omit both the subject and now the object "As for books, don't like". That's my understanding!
I see, thank you! What confused me a bit is that あまり読みません is like sort of like a redundancy, if you were to translate it literally it would actually mean the opposite right? It would mean that "I don't read little" which is a weird expression in english, but it does exist in spanish for example "no leo poco" which means you actually read a lot. Then you can basically say the same thing with either of these? あまり読みません たくさん読みません And what about あまり読みます? All of these would be expressing pretty much the same thing wouldn't they?
You're confused about the different parts of Japanese speech. たくさん and あんまり cannot be used to say the same thing because they are different parts of speech - たくさん is an adjective - it describes the amount of reading. あんまり is an adverb and it is ONLY ever used with a negative verb - it describes the negative frequency of the verb ie. the negative frequency of how often the speaker reads, in this instance.
本を たくさん 読みません I don't read a lot of books (たくさん is describing the amount of books that the speaker reads)
本を あんまり 読みません I don't really read books a lot (ie. I don't .....often - あんまり is describing the (negative) frequency of the speaker's reading)
あんまり 読みます - this would just never happen as あんまり is only ever used with a negative verb.