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Forgive me for what might be huge ignorance and stupidity on my part but does this mean that I'm now required to have a G+ account to use Reader?

Louis Gray (G+ evangelist, hired by Google) said in a different site[1] the following:

To clarify, Google Reader remains a stand-alone product. What is being announced is threefold: 1) Addition of sharing to Google+. 2) A new modern design. 3) Retiring of the dedicated sharing model.

This statement ( It will be impossible to use Google Reader as a standalone product) is incorrect. You can continue reading your feeds in Reader independent of Google+.

So it seems we (non-G+ users) won't be affected.

[1]: http://www.extremetech.com/computing/101011-6-google-reader-...

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