Yes, that's too much flashing.
Mine flashes to white on black and then quickly becomes the new page. A reboot might help.
As for reading on both sides, I wonder, too, if there's an easy way. You can have the book in an Android app as well as in the library and then just remember what page you're on and turn to it (easier in some apps than others). Another possibility to try is using a flashlight app on the LCD side to light your reading on the e-ink side.
You have to hold the PE folded just enough to keep the light out of your eyes, but it is definitely doable!