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Old 08-26-2009, 11:52 AM   #1
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Eye strain with 505?

With the recent passing of my eBookwise-1150 (a moment of silence, please...) I've been doing all my reading on my Sony 505. It seems to me that I've been having more headaches and eye strain reading on the 505 than I ever remember having when reading with the eBookwise. I don't know if it's the page flash, or an adjustment to the new reader, or what. I had an eye exam recently, so I know it's not my vision. Anyone else had this problem?
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:51 PM   #2
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My headaches come from waiting for it to respond.

How close do you keep it when you're reading? I find that when I read my Sony, I have this nasty tendency to pull it close to my face. I need to consciously force myself to push the book away to a more normal reading position.

I found the solution is to buy the paper edition of the book I'm reading.

Addendum: just want to point out this is mostly just being cheeky. I enjoy putting down ebook readers for what they aren't, but I still use them for what they are.

Last edited by LDBoblo; 08-26-2009 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDBoblo View Post
My headaches come from waiting for it to respond.

How close do you keep it when you're reading? I find that when I read my Sony, I have this nasty tendency to pull it close to my face. I need to consciously force myself to push the book away to a more normal reading position.
Yeah, I have those headaches too. Makes me seriously consider getting the new 600, but then there's the regular headache problem to deal with.

I keep the reader at a normal reading condition, so it's not that.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallflower75 View Post
With the recent passing of my eBookwise-1150 (a moment of silence, please...) I've been doing all my reading on my Sony 505. It seems to me that I've been having more headaches and eye strain reading on the 505 than I ever remember having when reading with the eBookwise. I don't know if it's the page flash, or an adjustment to the new reader, or what. I had an eye exam recently, so I know it's not my vision. Anyone else had this problem?
I haven't used an eBookwise, but no, I don't get eyestrain from reading on the 505. In fact, I find reading on it a joy.

If you've been using the same device exclusively for a long time, it could be that you've developed habits reading on it that would produce eyestrain when using another device.

It's up to you to decide whether it's worth it to continue reading on the 505 and hope you adjust to it, or whether to get another eBookwise or go back to paper. I don't know how much you're hurting, so I can't advise you there.

Good luck!

Kate
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:03 PM   #5
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What about the font size? What LDBoblo describe about the tendency to pull the Reader close to the face is exactly what I found myself doing with books (paperback with small print). Since starting to read on an ebook reader, I noticed this habit with p-books.

Since I convert e-books for the Reader anyway, I set the font size to 13 - seems to be the smallest comfortable size. It means less lines on the screen though, but I haven't found to to be a problem.

Doesn't the EB-1150 have back-lighting? I think this is an issue of the relatively lower contrast of e-ink. I suggest trying a larger font size, and better lighting for reading. E-ink aren't that great in lower light conditions.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:05 PM   #6
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...
I keep the reader at a normal reading condition, so it's not that.
What are "normal" to you? We are all different
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:17 PM   #7
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I read everything at a 22 pt Ariel font in landscape mode. Have bad eyes and need big fonts. Also, maybe choose a sans serif font, it is supposed to be easier on the eyes due to having more space to contrast the light background and dark letters. Also, it is supposed to help if you hold reading material below eye level.

The best thing for me to do for eye strain is to stop reading and let it get back to normal for a few days. Then, try to focus out the window at treetops of something very often while reading, in order to flex those focusing muscles behind your eyeball.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallflower75 View Post
Yeah, I have those headaches too. Makes me seriously consider getting the new 600, but then there's the regular headache problem to deal with.

I keep the reader at a normal reading condition, so it's not that.
Yeah, the 600 seems a bit of an improvement over the 505 for speed, but I think I'll hold out a while longer.

Another thing that may be happening is that you're not blinking enough. The flashing refresh could be making the problem worse as well. I recall the less-than-perfectly-honest Jetbook marketing lit saying it could make the eyes tired. I adapted to it by blinking slowly when I change pages.

Last edited by LDBoblo; 08-26-2009 at 02:29 PM. Reason: woops typo :)
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:19 PM   #9
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maybe you need more/less light in the room, reading glasses, and/or vodka
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:20 PM   #10
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how many books have you got on the 505? I find the flashing worse when I'm approaching about 75% of it's memory
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ea View Post
What about the font size? What LDBoblo describe about the tendency to pull the Reader close to the face is exactly what I found myself doing with books (paperback with small print). Since starting to read on an ebook reader, I noticed this habit with p-books.
The reason I do it with readers and my phone is because the letters always look fuzzy to my eyes, so I move it closer out of mildly myopic habit, thinking it'll get clearer. Soon I'm counting pixels, and have to push it away. My brain hasn't quite figured out that the only way to make the text look clearer is to move it farther away.

I saw a cheap paperback at the bookstore the other day with kind of poor printing (A Penguin Popular Classics book, IIRC, though I like some of their Reds and just bought Pride and Prejudice) and similarly moved it closer in hopes of making it clearer. I can't buy books printed like that. My visual acuity is still pretty good (I prefer <10pt typefaces on my reader, otherwise justification looks awful), but I can sympathize a little with folks whose sight is degenerating or has already worsened to the point where conventional book text is unbearably small.

Last edited by LDBoblo; 08-26-2009 at 02:46 PM. Reason: added a little sympathy
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:44 PM   #12
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The reason I do it with readers and my phone is because the letters always look fuzzy to my eyes, so I move it closer out of mildly myopic habit, thinking it'll get clearer. Soon I'm counting pixels, and have to push it away. My brain hasn't quite figured out that the only way to make the text look clearer is to move it farther away.
I wasn't even thinking about it - I just realised one day I was sitting with the book in one hand, 20-25 cm from my face. Using a largish print for my Reader fixes that. And I have had my eyes checked, so it's not that. Do use glasses, but they are supposed to fit.

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I saw a cheap paperback at the bookstore the other day with kind of poor printing (A Penguin Popular Classics book, IIRC, though I like some of their Reds and just bought Pride and Prejudice) and similarly moved it closer in hopes of making it clearer. I can't buy books printed like that.
Just found a Penguin Popular Classics on my bookshelf; eek!, yes, that is not only small, but fuzzy as well. Now that I've gotten used to 13px on the Reader, I don't think I could manage this. Generally I stay away from p-books because it's just that bit nicer with bigger fonts on an e-ink screen - even if I have started to use better lighting for reading as well.
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:22 PM   #13
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maybe you need more/less light in the room, reading glasses, and/or vodka
I like the vodka idea, but that might make the font blurry.

Quote:
how many books have you got on the 505? I find the flashing worse when I'm approaching about 75% of it's memory
I've only got about 100 books on a memory card. I have to use the card because my computer doesn't like my 505. (I had to reset the device after plugging it into the computer.)

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What are "normal" to you?
I wish I knew

But seriously...my eye doctor has me doing exercises that suggest holding a book about 13-17 inches away from your eyes.

I may switch to a larger font and see if that alleviates the problem, but I don't know. The font on the eBookwise was smaller than that I use on the 505.
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:29 PM   #14
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But seriously...my eye doctor has me doing exercises that suggest holding a book about 13-17 inches away from your eyes.
....
Hmm... 15 inches is 38 cm, and seems a somewhat uncomfortable distance. You can't rest your hand+book on your knee, and you have to hold it "out".

I really hope you will find a comfortable way to read, it would really be a shame if an e-ink reader didn't work out for you (since there are few alternatives)
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:08 PM   #15
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I have fewer headaches when reading on the 505 compared to the EB1100...probably because my headaches can be caused by staring at brightly lit objects.

More light in the room and a bigger font are good suggestions IMHO.
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