Why must people write these things? I'm not going to lie, those kinds of entries irk me to no end. They should irk you too, but maybe they don't, and that's part of the problem.
Authors should not be under pressure to explain their absence, yet they must feel it otherwise we wouldn't be having this discussion. So why is this the case? They don't trust their audience, that's why. And just maybe, their audience doesn't trust them either.
I cannot speak for others, but this is not what's happening at Ani-nouto. I find these notices silly in the age of feed readers too. However, from time to time I run across real people complaining about blogs dropping off without an explanation. So, vacation notices are going to be published as long as there is an explicit demand for them. Please deal with it.
On the subject why not more people use feed readers, I blame the pitiful state of Windows software. It's not like Linux where the bliss is one "yum install liferea" away. In case of Liferea in particular, all visitors of Ani-nouto using it run it on Linux — despite its primary developer, Lars Lindner, being a Windows user! But for most users, if it's not made by Microsoft, it does not exist.
Perversely, this state of affairs pushes Windows users to web services, such as Google Reader. I am not happy about it, because that bitch essentially hotlinks. I even thought about blocking Google Reader altogether with .htaccess. This is something I'll be working on, perhaps provide a separate feed to Google.
UPDATE: BTW, you know what's the second most popular feed reader at Ani-nouto after Liferea? It string is "Apple-PubSub", and its users usually returns with Safari. I presume it's some kind of reader service built into OSX desktop.
OMO SAYS at the very bottom that he has a Google Reader Share... I have one of those too, but I lost interest when it turned out that shared items have no permalinks of their own (apparently by design). So it's basically a Mugshot, only worse (you must subscribe before sharing on Google). Honestly I expected more from all those Google PhDs.
MORE THOUGHTS on Google Borg from Lelangir: "if every single anime blogger used google reader to create selective rss folders (a “Japanese culture blogs” folder, “seiyuu blogs” folder, “episodic blogs” folder), the general public, through a google account, can then subscribe to these long, carefully tailored blog lists." I am not sure about this. Sure, by rolling under the winner early some benefits are to be found, but isn't it still too early to select our overlord? Sort of reminds me how Microsoft only wanted all of your money, but Google wants everything you have ever thought about.