"This 'Email an item from Google Reader' tool seems like it can help encourage use of feeds and readers."
They provided another incentive recently by adding the ability to take your reading off-line. With the click of a button in reader, your browser downloads enough blog posts to a local database to keep you busy for hours catching up on reading that you could not get to in the office.
The way they have implemented reading off-line is even more interesting because it sets up the infrastructure necessary to use a wide range of web apps off-line. The project is currently in beta but it is open-source so I expect that it will develop quickly as external developers provide feedback and new ideas.