It seems to me that monks while they get the space and time to pursue the path, also give up quite a lot of freedom in how to think. They are given books to read, told to see the authors as fully enlightened beings, get wise words poured in as dhamma talks. If you are not careful you become conditioned, and rather than developing your own wisdom you become a parrot.
I am reminded of Ajahn Chah’s dhamma talk, where he explained that he did very little reading and memorising but instead spent time studying his own heart, the seat of his emotions and thinking. It is a way to become more free, more wise from what you yourself are, rather than copying from and conforming to what others tell you. It depends on what is expected of you by your teachers.
As independent buddhists we have a lot of freedom, so we can choose which path to follow. We can follow a tradition like the Tibetan Gelugpa school, which puts a lot of emphasis on learning, or we can choose to be more moderate in our consumption of texts and instead do more practice.
I spent some time with the Gelugpa, and found that their way of stressing learning and recall did not really conform with my understanding of the path. They liked to memorise lists, I prefer to take a text which contains real wisdom as well as inspiration and put it into practice at my own speed. Reading becomes a meditative endeavour, a savouring and considering of the words, and each book or text carefully chosen.