The Epic of Gilgamesh was written around 2500 BCE. That makes it the oldest book on Earth. Older than the Bible. And people are still talking about it. Warm Bodies even uses it as its epigraph (which you can read more about in our "What's Up With the Epigraph?" section). This alone shows the crazy longevity of the written word. The characters in that book—in any book—stay alive long after its author has moved on. Like everything in Warm Bodies, the ultimate result is life. Life is like one big system that's bigger than just people, and reading and writing is a crucial artery to keeping lifeblood flowing.
Questions About Literature and Writing
How does R's life start to change when he remembers how to read?
How is Living society affected by its growing illiteracy?
Why is writing so important to Perry? Why does he stop writing?
What themes do The Epic of Gilgamesh and Warm Bodies share?
Chew on This
Around the time Perry gives up on writing is when he gives up on life. Perhaps if he had been encouraged to continue writing, he wouldn't have basically committed suicide.
While learning how to grow food and defend yourself from zombies is necessary to physical survival, reading and writing is necessarily to emotional survival. The survivors in the stadium have neglected the literacy part, and as a result they're failing to grow.