This was an excellent book, which shows what is already happening in our world. It is this, people don't READ anymore! Most children, and especially teens, think reading is boring. They are too addicted to being spoon-fed ideas and stories via movies, book-form comic books and the internet. It is sad to me, as reading has always been my favorite past-time, but I digress. The Last Reader shows a preview of what our society may become when/if the grid goes down. How our society is based on conveniences and what it might be like without those things. One factor would be the loss of the ability to read. As portrayed in the book, a skill restricted only to the elderly and a secret capacity at that.
Once a person learns to read and is able to think both abstractly critically, to form their own ideas, they become "different" from our society, even as it exists today. For instance, being aware that the news media spins events into what they would like for them to be, rather what they are in reality. For example, the immediate news reports from Sandy Hook, blaming the "tea baggers" or right wing militia groups. The same for the DC snipers. What happened to getting the FACTS before reporting them? Very few people now a days are capable of reading information about political candidates and developing their own ideas: easier just to swallow the political commercials and be fed what the political parties want you to believe. These are examples of where we are currently undergoing. Imagine if for whatever reason, as The Last Reader does, that we are propelled back to a society similar to the 1800's. Who is capable of surviving that? Who has the ability to build things, search for wild food, raise animals for food? Not many of the urban population can even begin to imagine how to do these things. Without books, how will they ever learn? I LOVE my Kindle, but without the grid what would it be worth after the battery dies?? All food for thought that the Last Reader brings to the fire-front. EXCELLENT and thought provoking read!!