I am also asking about how is it for someone whose day involves 12+hours of reading and note taking with sparse breaks in between. Is the game setup for someone to pop in do a bit of fishing/leveling then move on?
The game is BEST for busy people. It is setup exactly for the purpose that you mention.
TRUFAX. There are two types of people that have the worst trouble for this game:
1) People who play more than 4 hours a day every day who want structured play (quests and missions)
2) People who play for less than 3 hours a day who want to get to level cap in 2 months.
The people who enjoy this game the most:
1) Play in short bursts between doing other things (as long as they don't expect to get to level cap quickly).
2) People who play for more than 4 hours a day and like playing in a sandbox.
3) People who play every two or three days for 2-6 hours at a time with an active linkshell whether they like quests or sandbox (because the repeatable quests are on a 1.5 day timer)
These are generalizations - but as long as you don't expect anything this game isn't going to deliver (like LOTRO style play with an NPC holding your hand every two steps or something) you will be fine.
For someone with a full time job and other life commitments the quest style is pretty ace. I find I can't even get all my leves done each reset. (Although partially because I choose to do other things like duo with friends/fish etc.)