It’s a stripped-down, easy to read version of the article, with all the page clutter gone. It’s, frankly, lovely – a really good way to focus down on the content without being distracted by all the stuff we shove around the main point of the page.
A couple of people have suggested that publishers should be afraid of this – after all, it takes away all the advertising and links to other material. However, the Reader is only triggered once you hit the page, and you return to the original page as soon as you click outside the reader area. Indeed, providing intelligent places for readers to go next probably becomes even more important, as the Reader strips out the links within the content.
It does make me wonder if some of the design ideas from the iPad (or should I be calling it iOS now?) are finding their way back into the desktop products.