Reading is not only necessary, it should be enjoyable. It is a skill your child will need their whole life. Quite often the love of reading stems from the habit of reading. This habit can begin to form while your child is a baby. Read to them from an early age, it is never to early to start.
You should of course, read a variety of children's books. Have your child sit on your lap or next to you and let them see the page as you read. As you read aloud try to use inflection in your voice or even different voices. It may sound strange to you at first but children will love to hear the variations. It does not matter if you can't talk in a great bear voice, talk like an elf or make a perfect bird sound. Use whatever sounds and voices you can, your child will be entertained. What is important is that your child sees you reading, hears you reading and learns the wonderful world that awaits them on the pages of a book.
Just as it is never too early to start to read to your child it is never too late. For an older child who is still young enough to sit beside you, read a book together. Find a subject they like and share it with them. Whether it is a mystery book or a book about planets or racecars read it aloud. You will probably all learn something new.
For an even older child simply read a paragraph of an article you think they might find interesting. Subscribe to magazines your child will find interesting. Whether it is a musician they like or an activity they enjoy, find an article in print or online. This is a great way to let your older teenage child know you care about them and are interested in them. It will allow you to connect to your child and help you stay in touch and keep a line of communication open.
Like most skills, reading will improve over time thru practice. If your child has access to books and magazines that interest them it is more likely that they will enjoy reading or at least not mind reading. Some children, like some adults may not develop a love of reading but they will still need to develop the skill. If you find your child does not like to read you might need to structure reading time. Many school systems require children to read anywhere from 15-45 minutes daily; the amount of time varies by age. Even if your school does not do this set aside a period of time for them to read. Have your child share what they have read to ensure they are understanding what they read.
Just as you would take your child to soccer practice or football practice be sure your child has the time to practice reading. Reading is a lifelong tool.