I would say it is one of the most important things due to own personal experience. If you read from a young age or are read to even, it is something that opens the mind and encourages the imagination. There is a great deal of evidence linked to education and children who are readers being ahead of their peers in terms of language skills and so on.
By reading it let's one see different styles that people write in, which can be great inspiration. Can help one find their niche and writers voice.
Favourite authors read, when you look into their lives you realise they are not some sentient being but ordinary people like you or I with a great idea. Many do not see success in their own lifetime, many do not write well until they are older. It is good to know these things as faith in ones own ability can be hard to come by.
Above all it is so good to be able to enjoy a book and soak up words, ideas or simply a great story. Recommend reading and for reading as a hobby to be shared, encouraged and passed down to children.