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I love my iPad, and I love the Kindle app better than any of the reader competitors, including iBooks. I prefer it to an actual Kindle. That said, it doesn't love me back. I read a lot. Always have. Even when I was still in school carrying a full class load, I chewed through two or three books a week. It's not unusual for me go through a book in a day. I don't watch much TV, but I am a reading fiend. 

I recently went back to work part time, so I'm spending even more time in front of a computer screen The time spent with my eyes glued to two computer screens and my iPad turned out to be too much. Major eyestrain. Painful eyestrain. Something had to give, but a book junkie will not give up reading.

I've argued with others that the iPad screen is easier on the eyes than a standard computer screen, but I finally have to admit that, for heavy reading, the Kindle is indeed easier on the eyes. I bit the bullet and bought a Kindle last week. I'm still adjusting to the controls, and I still insist that it's easier to do things with the Kindle app on my iPad, but my eyes are thanking me by heading back toward normal more and more each day. 

Kindle gripes — it really needs a built-in light. It's great in bright daylight, but in dim lighting situations, a light is a must. I opted to buy the Amazon Kindle leather cover with the pull-out light. Come on, Amazon, if you can build the light into the case you can build it into the Kindle. I wish there was a way to move multiple items to or from the archive at the same time. Apple has me spoiled. And please, Amazon, let me select my own screen saver. Let me create my own screen saver. I deliberately did not buy the cheaper, subsidized Kindle because I hate looking at ads. Some of the built-in screen savers are not too bad, but some are ugly as sin. Again, Apple has me spoiled.

So to those who tried to tell me that Kindles were better than iPads for reading books, I apologize. For those of us who read way too much, you were right. Now, if we could just find a way to get the best of both…

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  • winc06

    I have to agree. Reading on a back illuminated screen is a killer. I read on a Sony Reader. More expensive than the Kindle, but the larger screen, touch control, attractive metal case, and lack of button clutter are worth it to me. It also allows me a choice of using my own pictures as a screen saver, even multiples that cycle. No built in light either. They tried it a few generations ago with edge lighting for the screen and dumped it because it did not work very well. Have to admit though that the book choice is far superior on the Kindle, although there are adventurous souls who have found ways around that.

    I think we have the best of both worlds. iPad when traveling when reading is not a major activity and E-ink reader for the rest of the time when you can control the lighting.

  • Hi Phyl,
    I feel you on the eye strain regarding computer backlighting on any device.
    I love the backlight feature because it allows me to read anytime without relying on an external light source, but yet the downside is greater eye strain. One day, years ago, when eye strain and pain was a bit much, I put on a pair of those handy little wrap around sun-shades that the optometrist gives you after pupil dilation and my eyes have thanked me ever since. I use them quite often.

  • oldluddite

    Have both Kindle and iPad 2. Use Kindle app on iPad. Do the vast majority of my reading on the iPad. Have never noticed any sort of eye strain, and read probably two books/week, often more. The Kindle app on the iPad is pretty attractive, but I wish you could make folders etc as you can on the Kindle. And I must admit I run into battery limitations on the iPad much more often than the Kindle, but that makes sense given the nature of the two beasts. I gather we will be seeing a touch screen Kindle in not too long; I would not miss having to push all the buttons I do now on the Kindle.