That's Original George's entry in the "Time Enough At Last" challenge. The idea was to write a sequel to the famous "Twilight Zone" episode in which a man, Henry Bemis, who only wants to be left alone to read, is the sole survivor of a nuclear attack and then, with time enough at last to do all his reading, he breaks his glasses, without which he cannot read. So, what next?
Christy's entry is more "The Remake" than "The Sequel":
He is on the steps to the paperless Library circa 2020, picks up a Kindle and discovers the electromagnetic pulse has wiped all digital media clean.Actually, the comments thread veered away from the challenge and into the philosophical inquiry: If there were no longer any possibility of interaction with human beings in real life, what books would be worth reading?
Anyway, I wrote the original post saying I'd reveal my sequel idea later, so here goes:
We see Henry agonizing over his broken glasses and suffering. He has to grope about in his near blindness, etc. etc. Eventually, he gropes his way into an eyeglass store. But all the glasses are melted from the nuclear blast. And the frames in an eyeglass store don't have prescription lenses anyway, Henry, you idiot. But there, under the counter there's a safe, blasted half open. Inside, there is a pair of glasses — thick glasses, like his old ones. We see through his eyes as he tries them on: The vision is clear. Henry is jubilant. He runs through the town back to his old stack of books on the library steps. He sits down, and, no sooner does he open up a book to read than the glasses fall off, hit the step, and break.