It's incredibly sad. A book involves the reader in the story or the information as no screen can engage him, if, indeed, he at least watches screens to read, be informed or be entertained. One wonders how much of what he gets that way really has a foundation to which to relate if the person never has read a book!
The learning of history, how our world is organized, a vocabulary and good writing skill is largely learned by reading good writing. Even better knowing oneself and others, as well as understanding relationships is enhanced by reading about human behavior. Reading is a basic foundation and pillar of education. It's sad if it's skipped over, neglected or given contempt, as it sometimes seems to be, as in this case you overheard.
However in our modern mode, non-reading will surely become more and more typical, to the detriment of individuals and the human species.
Have I expressed what I think fairly adequately? :-)