Is your time worth more than $0.30 an hour?

Most of us believe our time is extremely valuable, certainly worth more than thirty cents. But then you read about human decision-making, and you have to wonder what goes through people’s heads.
This time, it is Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg at The Wall Street Journal, who wrote a review of Amazon Publishing, the printing house (if you will) of the ecommerce giant. Amazon published more than one thousand titles in 2017, and now commands roughly a majority of all book purchases made in the U.S., online or offline.
But what really surprised me about the article was this paragraph:
Under the arrangement, these titles are enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, which pays authors based on how many pages of an e-book are read. The payouts are usually around $0.004 to $0.005 a page. Authors would receive $1.20 to $1.50 on 300-page e-book priced at $10, less if readers don’t finish.
If you read an average of say sixty pages an hour, that equates to about thirty cents of royalties per hour of entertainment. Amazon’s revenues are higher given that Kindle Unlimited is a subscription, but still. We can argue that the titles on Kindle Unlimited are pulp fiction, or that the users of Kindle Unlimited lack taste, or whatever.
The reality though is that people (i.e. the reading public) are remarkably parsimonious when it comes to filling up their heads with words. Wired writer Antonio Garcia Martinez tweeted out a question last week:

Most books could be reduced to a 30-page ultra-long magazine piece (whose audio version would be an hour-long podcast). But there's no channel for the format. Why is that? Is it historical legacy, or something else?
— Antonio Garcia Martinez (@antoniogm) January 11, 2019
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