The resolution (ppi), panel type and refresh rate are the main specs when choosing a monitor regardless of the brand! Sadly, even though laptop and mobile phone displays have improved greatly, pc monitors have been held back! quad hd (2560 x 1440) resolution for a 27" is not much improvement in ppi! Coming to your problem:
1. Resolution (ppi): The higher the resolution for a given size of lcd panel, the easier it is on the eyes to read text! For a 19" full hd monitor (1920x1080) the ppi is nearly 116 (a 5" phone with same res has 440 ppi for comparison)! Most 19" monitors are still stuck on 1680x1050 so look out for a full hd one at least!
2. Panel Type: Different companies have come up with different techniques of producing lcd panels leading to different pros and cons of each! A good read is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thin-film-transistor_liquid-crystal_display#Types and brief overview here: http://www.pchardwarehelp.com/guides/lcd-panel-types.php
Most people go for an IPS panel as far as image quality is concerned as it offers wide viewing angle(s) and good colors! I prefer LG-Philips panels (note that panel make and monitor brand can be different)!
Pc gamers are thought to be more concerned about fast response times than image quality (mostly sit in front of display directly) and the cheaper TN panel with faster response time than IPS offers them that!
3. Refresh Rate: The higher the refresh rate, the less flicker there is! Though most lcd monitors settle for 60Hz, some people can still notice flicker leading to headaches! If you can't notice the flicker at 60Hz, it would be fine for you!
4. Other factors:
- Backlight: CCFL(commonly reffered to as LCD) backlighting is not inferior to LED backlighting as each comes with its own benefits and problems ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backlight
- Glossy or Matte Finish: Most work oriented panels use a matte finish to avoid glare! Glossy finish may seem better for movies!
- Color Temperature: At night time, a warm color tone may be better for the eyes rather than a cold one (bluish)
- Work Environment: Monitor placement giving due consideration to lighting around the work area is also important ... many guides available online
- Display Connection: Digital is recommended in this order ... DisplayPort->HDMI1.4->Dual-Link DVI->HDMI->VGA
So, my suggestion would be to go for a premium work oriented monitor (those that come recommended with workstations) for reading! I recently inquired about some 'lot' ones ... the hp LP and ZR series have really good ones (A+ grade with backlight timer showing low usage for lp series) and the 23/24" ones cost around 10~12K (most shopkeepers would point to other lesser monitors as better ones ... perhaps due to those being slimmer as these workstation oriented ones are bulky ... and specs for these bulky ones are great ... so hopefully a good bargain can be made)!