With the Kindle I used to have, if you put it on a certain setting the Kindle would read the book to you in a computer voice. It was kind of annoying so I didn’t use it much. But it gave me the idea: illiterate readers are our future.
With Kindles, illiterate kids can ‘read’ books. Schools, who all too often produce illiterate kids by demanding that any method other than intensive phonics be used to teach reading, love electronic devices. I remember one school district that was going to provide all kids with either a laptop or a smartphone to use at school. Whether the parents liked it or not.
Educational systems will almost certainly go for giving reading disabled kids Kindles that read to them. And then— why should those kids learn to read? It’s like teaching handwriting so kids can write by hand instead of using the devices that the financially better off always have available. (Poor people don’t need to write, evidently.)
And so, the number of illiterate readers will go up. I wonder how long it will be before they do surveys on what kind of books the illiterate reader prefers. And writers will study articles on how to appeal to the illiterate reader. Some writers will make a specialty in writing books that appeal to the illiterates. Why not? Writers already write books that appeal to the uneducated that don’t mention, for example, obscure historical figures like Julius Caesar or Martin Luther. That’s probably what the YA category is for.
And the day will come in some future era where the skill of actual reading is a rare skill like fixing the plumbing. And no one can take walks through cemeteries to read the headstones.