says or reads ? What memories this question brings up. Sometimes when I was a kid, teachers would not like for us to say The book says . . . The teachers would tell us that books can't say anything. Then we were supposed to use reads, which doesn't make sense either, really.
When I teach research writing, I tell my students when they are quoting or paraphrasing from a text to give credit to the author and use words like;
according to, states, explains. (I think you understand)
however, "reads" would never be used in this context. And "says" is also not good, but because it feels less formal. Reads is just wrong and not accepted. However, as David explains in his reply that if he were reading the text aloud to a group, using "it reads as follows" is the way we would say it. We say reads to tell the listeners we are reading and not paraphrasing.