The Effect eReaders Have on Your Eyes


Kindles, Nooks, and other eReaders have transformed our reading habits, changing when, where, and how we read – and sometimes even what we read. For many of us, these digital readers have also changed how often we read – and you may worry about the effect eReaders have on your eyes. If you’re wondering if it’s better to pick up the next Alex Stone thriller in paperback or as eBook, you may be surprised by the answer.

While it comes to our eyes, printed book have their advantages. A book has a very high contract display, which means it’s easy to read in both direct and indirect light. Books don’t have any glare, and you can easily adjust the angle to accommodate a changing environment. However, certain types of paper – like some newsprints – can actually be harder to read, and you also can’t adjust the font or the size of a book, although some large print editions are available. Ensuring sufficient lighting can also be a challenge when reading your favorite mystery paperback.

Compared to books, eReaders offer more customizability. With newer technology, you can easily adjust the font, size and even the backlighting as you read an eBook thriller late into the evening – and the improvements keep coming. The Kindle and the Nook now offer black-and-white E Ink technology, which replicates the look of printed paper, and new iPads include full-color IPS LCD displays. Still, both of these technologies come with drawbacks. E ink makes it much easier to read in bright sunlight, but the low contrast ratio makes it hard to see in darker setting, and the iPad’s reflective glass can make the LCD display hard to angle without glare.

So when it comes to the effect eReaders have on your eyes, what’s the verdict? Recent studies have led doctors to agree that reading on a Kindle or Nook won’t harm your eyes. In fact, experts say that no matter how you read the next Lou Mason mystery, your biggest concern should be preventing eye fatigue. Take short, frequent breaks from reading to give your ocular muscles a rest, and stop reading if you get a headache or blurry vision – both of which can indicate eye strain.

If you can’t get enough of crime fiction on your Kindle, don’t worry about the effect eReaders have on your eyes. Printed books and eReaders are both safe if you read in good lighting and take regular breaks. When it comes to the Lou Mason, Jack Davis and Alex Stone series’, you don’t have to choose! They’re all available in both digital and print editions for your reading pleasure.