It's strange, the places that teach the importance of reading. I've been working on a new novel in a post-apocalyptic/dystopic setting. I just finished reading The Giver and am currently reading 1984 for as brain fodder as part of the process. Last night as I read in the Book of Mormon with my daughter, it talked about the importance of the brass plates. They not only kept a record of the history of the Nephites and the commandments of God, but a record of the language of their people. In other words, without the written word, the Nephite civilization would have gone the way of the Lamanites: illiterate, aimless, and a barbaric. This reminded me of almost all the dystopic/post apocalyptic novels that I've read. These dystopic societies all seem to have one common element: the absence or forbiddence of books/reading. I found it strange that before I even came to this conclusion, my WIP contains this same element. (Though it is out of apathy rather than regulation).
The words of the prophet Mosiah brought to light why the element of the written word is such a crucial element in a utopic world, and why a society turns dystopic without it.