A minuscule freshman walks into his first year composition class - books in hand. He has no idea why he had to purchase four different books for this class, but it's his first semester of college so he bought all his books prior to the first day of class. The books vary. There's a book about MLA. There's a book about grammar and writing. There's a textbook with various readings throughout it's lengthy pages. Calm and collective, the student sits down in a seat that is not too close and not too far away from the professor. The professor hands out the syllabus and it states that only the textbook will be required to read. The, now broke, student doesn't make a peep, but he realizes that he is broke and could have used the money. Welcome to the first year writing course.
Some students may feel overwhelmed when reading their first year writing course syllabus for the first time.
Some may even feel like David in this video:
A man named Jerry Nelms wrote a lengthy explanation to this question that I found quite intriguing and important:
"Back to the original question, has anyone mentioned that while the number of pages is an issue, more significant may be the level of difficulty. What we're really talking about here, of course, is Vygotsky's "zone of proximal development," defined pretty much as the difference between what a student can do with support (scaffolding) and what she can do without support, the idea being that we should aim assignments (including reading) at that zone between where the student perceives the task is too easy and where the student perceives the task is too difficult, that zone where the assignment is a challenge but where the student perceives she can accomplish it. As someone said, different students, different zones of proximal development, different perceptions of difficulty, different levels of self-efficacy (confidence in being able to accomplish the task)."
I find that Nelms provides an accurate account of what professors will find in a FYC course. There is no right answer to the question about too much reading. A professor must get to know his students. The professor must find out their students' weaknesses and strengths before they can determine how much reading is too much reading. Most teaching is a process of trial-and-error. If a professor is giving too much reading, they will be able to tell by the lack of connections that their students are making between their reading and writing in the course.
To answer the initial question: There is no definite answer.