You’re running out of shelf space. You want to carry hundreds of books with you at once. You received an eARC. You want to take advantage of eBook deal prices.
You need to use your eReader and it’s not an enjoyable experience because staring at that screen is a struggle.
Obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone. Some readers have zero issues with their eReaders but for those like me who struggle to use them after an hour or so, reading eBooks can be a pain. Up until recently:
e-Books = migraines
It sucked. And I wanted to start enjoying eBooks more.
To give you an idea of what I’ve used, I own a Barnes & Noble Nook HD, a Kindle Fire, and most recently purchased a Kindle Paperwhite. I’ve also used my phone and my laptop to read books depending on the format.
For the record, I don’t recommend reading on a computer screen. Ever.
I’m also prone to migraines. Have been since I was a kid and it hasn’t gone away. Sometimes medicine helps, sometimes it doesn’t, but having to take pain killers every time I want to read an eBook just plain sucks.
I know I’m not the only one who struggles with headaches and eReaders so I wanted to talk a bit about my experience with the ones I’ve used.
An e-Reader Breakdown
I started out with the original first gen Nook as my introduction to eReaders. It had the e-ink screen with a color touch section at the very bottom. The minimal touch screen was a pain to use and there was no backlight on the text portion of the screen, but it served its purpose. I eventually passed it on to a family member in favor of a Kindle Fire because I’d started to review books more and the Kindles work really nicely with the online services like NetGalley and Edelweiss, much nicer than the Nooks.
I loved my Kindle Fire, but still had a lot of eBooks on Barnes & Noble so I also bought a used Nook HD and rotated between the two devices. The Nook HD works basically like a tablet. You have access to the Google Play Store plus all your books and social media apps. The Kindle Fire offered similar access though was limited to the Amazon store, and I didn’t find the set-up as nicely for doing anything but reading which was fine. It’s all I use them for but if you want an eReader that does multiple things, I found the Nook HD more user friendly.
Both gave me headaches after a while. Even using the Blue Shade option on the Kindle Fire didn’t help much. So I caved and bought the Kindle Paperwhite.
I am in no way affiliated with Amazon but I want to say that the Paperwhite has saved my eBook reading experience. No headaches. No migraines. No issues whatsoever. It’s been fabulous. If I had to recommend an eReader of all the ones I’ve used, it would be the Kindle Paperwhite.
Working with your e-Reader
I know that not everyone can have the eReader of their dreams but I’ve learned a few ways to help combat the headaches that you can consider when planning to read an eBook.
Read in a well-lit room. Don’t strain your eyes by reading an eBook in the dark if you can avoid it. The harsh light from many eReader screens will hurt your eyes after a while and can cause headaches.
Set the screen color to a comfortable option. Most eReaders allow you to change the page color of your book. Personally, I use the Sepia/beige/tan option on mine because it’s not as harsh as black on white. Pick what works for you.
Take advantage of the Blue Shade option. My Nook doesn’t have this feature but my Kindle Fire does. If you have it, you can adjust the blue shade to whatever level is comfortable for your eyes. It will help when reading later at night.
There’s also a computer app called f.lux that I HIGHLY recommend that automatically makes your screen color warmer the later it gets based on your location and the sunrise/sunset.
Enlarge the text size. There’s no use squinting at your screen when you can make the text bigger. Don’t strain your eyes when you don’t need to!
Don’t try to read an eBook if your eyes already feel strained or you have a headache. Even if you need to read that book, it’s not worth the trouble of making the pain worse.
Pick an eReader that works for you. If you’re someone who wants to read a lot of eBooks, pick a device that suits your needs. If you want something that also works as a tablet, Nooks can be a great option. If you want a full color screen that makes it easier to read at night, the Kindle Fire might be a better choice. And if you just want your eReader to read and nothing else, I recommend the Kindle Paperwhite over all others due to the e-ink feature and adjustable backlight.
Obviously my experience and this post is based around what I’ve had the chance to use but I’d love to hear from y’all!