Harvard Business Review Press Releases “Timed” Chapters on Kindle

Well, here’s a strange idea that’s hopefully not indicative of the direction reading is moving in: today, Amazon and Harvard Business Review Press announced that HBR has released discreet chapters and summaries from its books for download on the Kindle. There will be 117 of these book-slices available from 10 books, and they’ll be called “Harvard Business Review Short Cuts.” The odd thing is that they’re categorized in terms of how long they’ll take to read: 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes. Check out the screen shot above for an example.

Here’s a bit on HBR’s thinking from the press release:

“Our business readers frequently use their Kindles when they travel or commute, and have told us they love the ease with which they download and read newspapers, magazines and business documents,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Kindle Content. “‘Harvard Business Review Short Cuts’ are the perfect quick read for any business-minded Kindle reader on the go — a digestible serving of information, all available to download in under 60 seconds.”

Fair enough–the audience for this kind of content is maybe more time conscious than other people, but timed reading? Don’t even business people read at different speeds? What about the poor guy who takes 30 minutes to read a 10 minute chapter? How will this product make him feel?