Since picking up a Kindle when they first went on sale I have tried so hard to use it for my only ebook reading solution. I love ebooks and have read them almost exclusively for years so I have been so wanting to make the Kindle my ebook reading solution. There is no question that it couldn’t be easier to buy content on the Kindle with the WhisperNet that Amazon has integrated right into the device but that’s not enough for me. I have used it long enough that I’ve even gotten used to the horrible button design that makes accidentally turning pages far too easy to do. Once I trained myself how to hold it that hasn’t been a major issue for me. The problem I have reading ebooks on the Kindle is not really even the Kindle’s fault. It has more to do with the eInk technology that it uses that makes it difficult to use.
Trying to use it for so long has led me to realize that the places in my house where I normally read ebooks are just too darkly lit. The relatively low contrast ratio of the eInk technology combined with the lack of a backlight means you need to be in a well-lit area to read ebooks on the Kindle or other eInk devices. The few places where I sit comfortably to read are not well-lit areas and the Kindle just doesn’t work for that reason alone. I have tried so hard to make it work but I don’t want to change my reading routine just so I can use the Kindle so I have given up. I know that the eInk technology is cool but the contrast ratio of the Kindle is far worse than a real paper book for example. The page is not white enough and the ink is not dark enough to make it work for me given the lighting I have to work with. I can read regular books fine in this lighting but the Kindle makes me constantly strain to do the same and I just don’t want to continue trying. A backlit solution like the HTC Advantage has both the ability to read ebooks in poor (or absent) lighting and also a very high contrast ratio with the page being totally white and the ink very black. So I have shelved the Kindle for now until some advancement in the future makes it more practical for me.