Page Number Versus Position on Kindle

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A book viewed in Page Flip mode.

A book viewed in Page Flip mode.

August 22, 2016 – Update on Page Flip. Amazon recently updated its reader software to solve one of the longest standing problems with e-reading. Formerly, it was difficult if not impossible to jump around in a book and land back at the point you began, rendering non-fiction books with lots of graphs, images, and references virtually useless for the serious student. In fact, Amazon’s early experiment with the academic placement of Kindle readers in colleges and universities foundered on exactly this point. Now, you can view your exact position in a book (with real page numbers attached in many cases!), browse to other pages, and jump back to your original starting point in you wish. This is a major structural improvement to the reading experience on the Kindle. Learn more at Amazon HERE.

January 1, 2015 – Update for newest versions of the Kindle. Page numbers have always been a consternation for e-book readers, and no more so for any group than for Kindle owners. In the last few updates to the Kindle, Amazon has partially remedied this problem. If you want to know the number of the page you are on in your Kindle book, read on!

If your Kindle book includes page numbers, you can also track your location according to the page number in print books. Not all Kindle books include page numbers. Because you can change the font size and other features, you may be able to view more than one page on your screen at one time. Your progress shows the page number for the text displayed at the top of the screen. (from Amazon website, emphasis mine)


Click to view page

So, the ability to view page numbers, if they exist, depends on using the Menu button on your Kindle. Just as you need to click on the Menu to check the time of day at the top, so you need the Menu to give you access to the page number. Today, the newer Kindles can tell you much more than the page number, including the estimated time it will take you to finish the chapter you are currently in. See the related article for information on this feature. Not all books have page numbers because it costs money to add them in. A Kindle book can resize fonts and reflow the text because it is not divided up into arbitrary units called “pages.” So, if the publisher of the book you purchased went to the expense of correlating the e-book file to the page in the print book, you will be able to see them in this fashion, but only on Kindle 3 or later.

You can see if a Kindle book you are thinking of purchasing contains page numbers by lloking below the title area for a notice. No notice, no page numbers. Click on the image to the left for a live demonstration of where to find this information.

Also note the other highlighted passage, that you may “flip the page” on your Kindle and see that the “page number” hasn’t changed. If you have enlarged the font for the book on the Kindle, this is the cause. With a larger font, it may take several Kindle screens worth of text to complete a single page in the print book.

Related article: Does My Kindle Book Have Real Page Numbers?

Related article: The New Kindle Lineup and What It Means to Educators

When the Kindle first came out, the absence of page numbers created more than a little bit of anxiety.  How can I tell what page I am on??? I mean, I have only spent my whole life using page numbers as the reference point for a) how far along in the book I am, and b) any references to the text that I want to make in a post, article, or other scholarly writing.

This lingering anxiety tells me something about the “purpose” of the Kindle. That purpose is reading in a “frictionless” way (adjective courtesy of Jeff Bezos). The Kindle is not very well set up to address these other little anxieties I feel.

So, I got out my calculator to see if I could find a rule for converting Kindle’s “position number” into the “page numbers” of the actual book.

OK, first problem: which actual book–the hardcover, the paperback? First editions, fifth edition? Right there you see the intractability of the problem.

But I forged on, nonetheless, with my hardcover copy of Carol Dweck’s Mindset. You get the wackiest correlation if you try to literally use every paper page fo the book. First, all those pages aren’t in the Kindle edition. Second, spacing considerations make it almost impossible to come up with a formula that is anywhere near accurate if you try to use all the pages.

I got closest to a useful formula when I took the first actual numbered page of the book (not including the introduction)–that is, a page with “1” on it, and looked up the corresponding “position” on my Kindle. As it turns out, Page 1 appears at position “95” on the Kindle. Then, I went to the last full page of the text, page 239 (not the notes, index, or other “last” page) and checked the position: 4035. So, I had 3940 positions spread over 236 pages (the first page of text was actually page 3). 3940 divided by 236 yields 16.69 positions per page.

Using this formula I could pretty much find the page in book if I knew the position. In all my test cases, I landed within one page of the text I was searching for if I divided the position number by 16.69.

Whew!  If you have a friend with the print book and you want to point them to a passage, use of the chapter number might be your best bet.  If they want to point you to a passage, you can search for a key term.  Or you can both try this little formula and wait for the MLA to provide us some guidance!

  61 comments for “Page Number Versus Position on Kindle

  1. Natalie R
    December 16, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Thank you for your response and the link to the article – it was very helpful.

  2. Will DeLamater
    December 13, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    You can see how to do this at this post here at EduKindle. Like you say, this will become more of an issue as your daughter gets older and has additional citations from many texts for school. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Natalie
    December 2, 2015 at 9:18 am

    I found the answer to the question of citing a kindle book (if using APA) from

  4. Natalie
    December 2, 2015 at 9:07 am

    I’m kicking myself because I just bought several (expensive) books from Amazon for my daughter’s science research. How is she supposed to cite her sources from books without pagination? I assumed that I could find something in the settings to turn on the page numbers and now I’m kicking myself for not ordering the “hard copies” of the books. I also bought one book from iBooks, which does show the page numbers. My daughter is in fourth grade so this may not be as big of an issue as it would be if she were in high school but one of the points of a research project is to teach the kids how to document their sources; I don’t want to teach her how to “fudge” it by guessing. Does anyone know if there is an legitimate way to cite a reference from a text on kindle when there are no page numbers given?

  5. Will DeLamater
    November 12, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Hi Lily and thanks for your comment! If the book you are reading has “Real Page Numbers,” you will see it at the bottom of the page on the left in the format “Page 214 of 371.” Many books, especially open source books, do not show page numbers. Publishers increasingly agree with you that people expect page numbers in books, and so they indicate on the product page if the book has them. Look at the bottom of the initial description of the book on the Kindle version page and you will see a page count and a drop down that shows the ISBN of the version of the book that the page numbers are taken from.

    And you are right, this has been an issue since the Kindle was born!

  6. Lily
    November 2, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    While I suppose it’s nice to have features like percentage and estimated finish times, these features have never existed with actual books and therefore are just unnecessary decoration. Page numbers, however, are pertinent to reading. Everyone relies on them, because they’ve always been there. I don’t see how a computer wouldn’t be able to adjust font size to page numbers – big font, more pages. I’ve been trying for 45 minutes to figure out how to change this ugly ‘location’ to page number (I have an iPad with kindle reader) and apparently it’s been an issue for years. Page numbers! Wow.

  7. Jeffrey
    February 27, 2012 at 12:58 am

    I read books from front to back, but I have classes where the teacher gives assignments like:

    Please read Chapter 1 pp. 2-4
    Chapter 4 pp. 72-87
    Chapter 5 pp. 92-117

    According to reps at Amazon – Kindle books are CAPABLE of showing page numbers (with the most current software version) however the publisher needs to include them.

    Write to your publishers and ask them to start including them!

  8. February 8, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Great post. I had the same problem.
    It’s easy to find the page number though. All you have to do is press menu. At the bottom of the page where the progress bar is, you will now see text that says what page you are on and what location.

    Hope this helps!

  9. Daniel
    January 3, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    This website says to merely use the location along with the paragraph on that “screen,” so to speak.

  10. willd
    October 2, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Great point! The Kindle has always worked best when you start on page one and read each page in order. That’s why it isn’t really very good for reference works and other educational applications.

  11. Paisley
    September 30, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Say I click on to the sub notes and it goes from pg 40 to 358 or something. Then my Kindle will always say my last page read is the 358 even though I have gone back and continued reading. My Kindle on my PC will also synch with the notes that I have referenced. Does anyone know how to delete that I’ve gone to the notes as a referance not as the final position of what I am reading. This is so annoying.

  12. willd
    September 13, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Yes, it is a big step forward, but it is only for a limited set of titles. I agree, though, that Amazon listened to the outcry over this issue!

  13. Katrina
    September 11, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Moderator…please change that previous link to this current link….sorry I put one that was previously entered by Michelle D.

  14. Katrina
    September 11, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    So I am sure you guys know this now, but if not:

    This is a download link for page numbers that Kindle has FINALLY added!!!

  15. Sam Lord
    August 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    For study purposes Kindle is useless. Try using a calculus text using Kindle software! Text and graphics are data, but page information, edition, chapter references, etc., are all METADATA. As many have noted, varying the delivery of the data by changing font, color, etc. is easily done *independent* of metadata. Avoiding this problem was easy; Amazon royally screwed up. This oversight was a failure of epic proportions, and could cost them the market. It’s a shame, because their other work is excellent.

  16. April 23, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I just got the amazon kindle and I love it so far. It is great to read on, even in direct sunlight. Definitely recommend.

  17. Sócrates Medina
    March 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    With the Amazon Kindle you now can have page number references in every e-book they sell.
    Rock On KINDLE!!!

  18. Michele D.
    March 15, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    It’s been (somewhat) fixed with a firmware update. Press the menu button for “page X of XXX” at the bottom alongside the location.

  19. Annah Rogal
    March 11, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I for one am frustrated with the ebooks. I purchased them for use for my classes and when a prof references a page or assigns pages, I cannot follow along. So, forget ebooks for classroom or citations, etc. The powers that be should have thought this out. I don’t have the answers, but ebooks won’t be taking the place of real books anytime soon.

  20. Bob_WA
    February 18, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    I think David is correct. I am using Kindle for PC and location numbers appear to correlate very closely with periods, if you also count those that appear as numbered “dot points” as you find in a technical manual. Possibly colons too, but the correlation is not exact enough to prove that.
    I have not found that the “location” of a specific point in the text depends on font. What happens is that the “location range” at the bottom of the screen changes with font as more sentences (as marked by periods) fit on a screen in a smaller font.

  21. February 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Page numbers are a layer of information on top of existing text. Pagination can be more like subtitles to a movie. Movies can have a number of subtitles in different languages queued according to the timeline.

    In a movie, subtitles are queued according to the timeline. So you can choose which one you are interested in at any time.

    For a book, you can’t rely on the timeline, but what you have is a set number of characters in any single edition. The pagination can be queued according to the character count.

    The hard-cover might define page 1 as the range of characters from 1 to 100, while the paperback can define it as characters 1-75.

    More broadly, the basic unit of measure for the purpose of queuing should include: visible characters and graphics.

    This means that there would have to be a setup screen where you can set the Print Edition you’d like to use for the book you are currently reading.

  22. January 14, 2011 at 8:05 am

    I have to agree with a lot of the above comments, Kindle still has a way to go before ‘perfection’ I personally find the navigation difficult to say the least, but I have to remind myself that everything is a trade off, and when Im traveling I will put up with lots of problems but I do get to have a ton of books with me and hardly any weight. Roll on Kindle 4…

  23. Jenna
    January 9, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    My mother has both a Nook and a Kindle and after playing with both of them I decided on the Kindle. It has a wider book selection than the Nook, and at competitive prices. I just bought a book for one of my classes and I am now crossing my fingers that I don’t have to reference anything or read outloud to the class….

    The Kindle’s lack of page numbers, as well as not telling you what chapter you are in is a serious hindrance. Everyone seems to think that the reason it doesn’t use page numbers is because it has the ability to change font size and thus may not always have the same page number is the size is adjusted.

    What happened to good ol’ 1a, 1b, 1c… etc? The ‘1’ could be used on all the Kindle pages that correlate with that particular edition in paper. There could even be a setting that divides up the pages with removable dotted lines or something. It would be so easy for Amazon to tweak their program and it would benefit us all greatly.

  24. Andy Anderson
    January 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    @Guido Barbi
    Well said. I agree.
    This fix is essentially an easy one with the appropriate software logic changes made to affix (embed) the hard copy page number reference when creating the ebook version initially. Actually, if done correctly, the edition number could also be automatically embedded.
    This appears to have already been done in other applications as described in the posting on this thread – Dean Ritz Jun 3rd 2009 at 02:27 pm 5.

    Note that it has been over 18 months and amazingly Amazon, with all their financial resources, is still burying it’s head in the sand hoping this monster will go away.

    They need to take a cue from Nike and “Just do it”.

  25. Dan
    December 27, 2010 at 1:22 am

    I think were all leaving out the fact that some of Kindle’s features block the ability to use page numbers. For example the ability to change font size, the smaller the font the more words per page there for less pages in the book and vice versa.

  26. Guido Barbi
    December 8, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    I am an European graduate student in philosophy, now visiting at a US University. And I have to point out, that for many classical texts in the humanities, it would be absolutely necessary to implement page numbers. As many classics already have a standard citation, going back to the first edition, a major critical edition, or even papyrus/scrolls/etc.-numberings a particular text originates from. Standard citation-formats going back in some cases to antiquity.

    I can’t see anyone starting to cite Kant’s Critiques using Kindle locations. You use A/B (for first or second edition) and the original editions page number, in any language. It is a standard. Its utility is evident, no matter what edition you have, if it is a slightly serious edition, it will have those references built in. And anybody, in any language, can get to the reference. (This is especially true for continental Europe, where other citation standards apply anyways, but it is also true for the US).

    As a serious academic tool in the humanities, it will be simply necessary for an e-book-reader to implement page numbers. I can’t see this standards changing. Eventually, if e-books will become widespread enough, we will cite e-book locations. But even then older works will very probably keep the old citation standard.

    This said, I’m a satisfied Kindle customer, but for it to become a serious academic tool at a graduate level (where citations don’t have to be accounted for, only in order to check them), that is simply a necessity.

  27. David
    November 2, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Best I can tell, the location numbers are tracking periods, thus (roughly but reasonably) sentences. Not much good for a global page-location algorithm, though it could come close in particular cases.

  28. Renee
    October 21, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    I think Kindle or other E-books could solve this page dilemma another way. They could have paragraphs and line numbers for each chapter being that page numbers change by edition. Then citation would be more like citing the Bible or Shakespeare. A citation would be more like (Chapter 11, Paragraph 4, line 7). Even people with paper editions could go to the reference. This feature could be turned on and off so that if one did not need to reference, they would not have to look at this.

    I am an online student and found the text books are not only cheaper but I have them instantly. Most of my professors have figured out a way for me to cite things but it’s a struggle every class. I haven’t had a professor unwilling to work with me yet, but I’m guessing I could. This just needs to be figured out because I think the world will move this way if they (E-book) can figure this out.

    The other issue I have found it that the different e-Readers do not “play” nice with each other. Meaning I cannot download a Nook book to my Kindle and vice versa. Therefore every e-Reader has a different location number. Even if my professor had the same e-Reader, I have discovered there are some books that have multiple E-book versions and location numbers vary by the font size. There does not seem to be any uniformity and therefore almost useless in the academic world.

    I hope this can be solved soon. I have years of school ahead of me and would like to save time and money by using my Kindle. I am almost afraid to buy my books for the next session being my professor could be unwilling to work with me.

  29. September 27, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Not only are there no page numbers, there are also no chapter titles or chapter numbers on the pages. So when I am reading I have no idea which chapter I am on. Thus when the authors write things like, this was / will be dealt with in more detail in chapter 6, it is meaningless to me because I do not even know which chapter I am currently on and if I have read that chapter in question yet.

    Also there is no index at the back of my kindle books so that I can look-up where particular concepts are discussed in the book.

    But the most annoying thing of all is that I cannot copy and paste text for taking notes or for using the Google Translator tools if the book is written in another language.

  30. Michael Morana
    August 31, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    A professor of mine required that I use MLA citation for books that I was reading off my Kindle.
    My solution to the problem is one that can be useful sometimes but not everytime.
    If the book is available as a book preview on Google Books, you can search for text in the book and Google Books will give you the page.

  31. willd
    April 16, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Thanks Lauryn! Have you seen the suggested citation format from the APA? I wonder if the calculation method will ever work well enough for the academic world… Have you run your approach past your professor yet? BTW, your direct experience with this problem is very enlightening to read about!

  32. Lauryn
    April 15, 2010 at 11:02 am


    So I’m using the kindle in place of an actual book in one of my classes and my professor listed the chapter titles and the page numbers of the book. At first I tried to go through a whole series of calculations but i noticed that my kindle on the first page of the chapter which is supposed to be pg. 49 gave me the location of 489-94. After trying to figure out which page correlated at the text size I was using to the actual paper book used in class I discovered that the location numbers were probably supposed to stand for 489-494. Once I discovered this I continued to go through the chapter and see if my marks for where each page should stop and start matched the changing locations and it did. I determined that for every 1.5 pages of my kindle 2 there would be 1 page of the real book. Page 50 in the real book would start at location 494-502 and then would continue to location number 502-09 or 502-509. The first two digits of the location number for the entire book on my kindle have so far matched with the page numbers for the actual book. The last number which I’m assuming has something to do with the formatting of the kindle has to do with where in the page the kindle had to cut for the text size to move to the next page. They split the page into 9 sections. if a cite lies in section 523-30 it means that in a the real book of the same exact edition and copy the page where the information found lies from 3/9’s of the way through pg 52 to the beginning of pg 53. I’ve assumed that the last location in the range of numbers is likely the last line of the of the first pg listed or the first line of the last pg given. I havn’t proven this to work for all my books yet but if it does i’ll let you all know.

  33. SIDNEY
    March 18, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Bem, pessoal, se eles vão publicar livros em Português, eles terão necessariamente quem leia este texto para eles. Eu tenho o Kindle for osx e não o aparelho. Comprei um primeiro livro para testar o uso e se eu soubesse que uma coisa tão básica para referenciação como a correspondência entre o número de páginas da página no Kindle e o da edição impressa não seria atendida, eu não teria gastado meu suado dinheirinho de professor universitário. Bom, mas a menos que a Amazon conserte esse furo, não gastarei mais meu dinheiro com isso. Só espero que o iPad trate essa questão de forma correta.

    [Ed. Note: Here is a translation from Google Translate: “Well, folks, if they will publish books in Portuguese, they will necessarily who read this text to them. I got the Kindle for osx and not the device. I bought a book first to test the use and if I knew that something as basic as referencing the correlation between the number of pages on the Kindle page and the printed edition would not be met, I would not have spent my hard-earned money as a university professor. Good, but unless the Amazon fix that hole, it will not spend my money on it. I just hope that the iPad treat this issue properly.”]

    Thanks for the comment, Sidney!

  34. February 10, 2010 at 9:56 am

    or, you can just search the page you want to reference in google books, and fill out the mla citation using the page number ect. provided in the google books copy.

  35. willd
    January 21, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Very useful idea, Dana. How does the Direct Verse Jump work on the Kindle?

  36. willd
    January 21, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Thanks for the comment, Sandy. If the instructor had a copy of the Kindle book, wouldn’t a reference to the “location” number provided by amazon be sufficient? Since everyone can now see those position numbers by loading Kindle for PC (not sure of the status for Mac), wouldn’t this suffice?

  37. January 20, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I am a college instructor, and teach a couple of online courses. I require my students to cite to page numbers. The reason is two-fold. First is Michele’s problem – the ability to go back to the “book” to read what the professor and other students are referring to. The second reason is that citations help me believe the students are reading, and not simply paraphrasing class discussion into their homework assignments. Right now I am struggling with a poor overseas student who is awaiting the arrival of a textbook. We’ve tried finding page numbers in Google Book, but Google Book doesn’t have all the pages available for viewing, so he can’t plug in his quote and necessarily pull up the page. Page numbers are the standard citation format for all academia, and unless and until that changes, Amazon really needs to find a way to add pagination to its product.

  38. Dana
    January 20, 2010 at 12:37 pm


    I use 3 search friendly Bibles on my Kindle… The Direct Verse Jump is VERY helpful. for the WEB Bible for the NET Bible for the KJV Bible

    After learning the abbreviations for all the books, I can flip through my Kindle Bibles faster than a paper Bible.

    I hope this helps.

  39. Anthony
    January 11, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Well, I just received my new kindle and I am so disappointed! I love the screen and how the text looks. But the navigation stinks! The navigation through the books with location in lieu on page number is insane and impossible to make sense of when trying to find a reference such as Romans 1:5 forget, impossible. Also when you bookmark it just bookmarks a location and when I am reading there is no reference on top in regards to where I am, what book, what chapter what page.. uuuuuuuuugh. insanity. This may take me a long time to get used to or I just might return it and go back to paper. 🙁

  40. Benzi
    January 6, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Does anyone knows what the numbers in the location mean. They surely have a formula to create it. What is it? I thought the the numbers of words would be appropriate.

  41. Lola
    January 5, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    thank you SO much that helped me aton!

  42. McKenna
    December 28, 2009 at 2:42 am came up with a formula which approximates the physical page number from your kindle location and vice versa…. you can also access this website from the kindle’s web browser.

  43. Batman Jr.
    November 25, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Can you use APA format as a substitute? The APA this summer released guidelines for its citation protocol, examples of which can be found at this site:

  44. November 24, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Bill Attinger

    Totally agree with you.

  45. November 23, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Why couldn’t we just translate page numbers into % completion? This would universally translate. Carry it out three or four decimals and you’s have a pretty accurate pointer for locating exactly where you are in a book no matter whether it’s paperback, hardback, large font or small font on Kindle/eBook. It would universally translate across all eBook formats, too, and give even the average joe an understandable reference for progress in completing a book.

  46. Mick
    November 21, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    I’m having the same problem. I’m working on my thesis, and several of the books I use I acquired for a significantly lower price than a hard copy. The ability to search marginalia notes in the Kindle also makes finding and organizing my own thoughts significantly easier. However, I am now being told that in order to use the works, I have to track down a hard copy of the work for citation purposes. MLA needs to come up with a practical solution quickly. E-readers are here to stay, and MLA waiting two years and counting to provide an answer is ridiculous.

  47. heather
    November 18, 2009 at 2:54 am

    What about looking up a certain page number the author references within the book. For example, see the list on pages 282-283. How do I find that?

  48. MIchele
    November 14, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    no-brainer and vast majority. Geesh!

  49. MIchele
    November 14, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    I am a graduate student and used my Kindle DX for the first time for a class assignment. I was able to find a text for $9.99 that was otherwise on sale for over $100, so naturally the e-format was a no- rainer. As we discussed the book in class, I struggled to keep up with my professor and classmates as they would refer to a page number and collectively read from it. I couldn’t follow along. My suggestion is to faintly place the original page number as it appeared in the first edition, or have a feature that one could query the original page number of the first edition. It would be nice if this could be uploaded for current editions so we don’t all have to go buy the next edition of an expensive Kindle. This does not solve the subsequent paperback edition problems, but if first editions were the standard, it might help the fast majority.

    Regarding citations, I now face this dilemma for a MLA paper I will soon be writing. The best advice I have seen is to reference Kindle, where the publisher would be, and then to add (Ch. 3(paragraph symbol) paragraph number). Sorry, don’t have my guide for symbols at hand. That would work for anyone who wants to verify via a printed resource and for the vast majority of editions. Most edition changes I’ve seen come in the preface, epilogue or correct a typo, but contextually, chapter paragraphs are not likely to change all that much.

  50. Jim
    October 25, 2009 at 4:22 am

    I was reading your article when i realized something. What are we supposed to use, the number in the middle of the page or the number on the right hand side? Because it doesn’t seem like you specified

  51. June 24, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    One thing I’ve noticed w/r/t this, is that the Location numbers change with font size. This leads me to believe that the numbers are based on some formula having to do with paragraphs and word count. I’m experimenting with that to see what I can come up with. For example, in a Kindle version of The Trial, at the third smallest font size, the final paragraph at Location 1000-1009 begins “That spring, whenever possible, K. usually…”. However, when “flipping” to the next page and the continuation of the sentence …”spent his evenings after work – …” the location is 1009-19. Thus it’s possible that 1009 is the start/continuation indicator of the paragraph beginning on the previous page, and 19 is some indicator of… ? I have no idea, actually. Sigh.

  52. Lisa McElroy
    June 23, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    I am also having huge problems with this, as I now do most of my book reading on my Kindle. I am an academic, however, and can’t cite to pages. I am having to have my assistant look through the hard copy book, which I request from the library, and I tell her “about half way through” or something like that. If anyone comes up with a good way to figure this out, I would appreciate it.

    P.S. As a law professor, I teach my students about “star pincites” all the time. I agree with David Stewart that this would be a nice feature to turn on and off. It would also help for my book club, as I can’t follow when someone says, “I liked the language on page XXX.”

  53. David Stewart
    June 19, 2009 at 8:22 am

    The legal reference system is a good point. Another system of common reference numbers can be seen in any good edition of, say, Plato’s dialogues. Scholars use the system all the time.

    I would NOT want inline references, though—not visible ones, though. It would be great to have them as something that can be turned on and off, and used in a contents or location table.

  54. Ken Klemme
    June 17, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Or… MLA could come up with a citation rule for electronic print media, since standardized citation methodology is what what they exist to do!

  55. Grace Curtis
    June 11, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    I agree with Wayne. Yes, thinking about pages is thinking inside the box. Good response Wayne!

  56. Wayne
    June 6, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Page numbers are not a good solution for finding the position in a book. Think of the case of trying to tell somewhere a spot in their hardback version of a book when the other person only has the paperback. The pages don’t match. While education gets around this by requiring a particular printed edition, it would actually be better if printed books changed from numbering their pages to numbering their sentences (which is essentially what Kindle location numbers are). If publishers could come up with a standardized position indicator (and basing it on sentences seems like a nice way to go), it could be used in all paper books and ebooks. People would just need to get used to seeing something like “42 – 69” on the page instead of “11”. For a paper book, a good transition scheme may even be to include both the location range for the page and an edition-specific page number.

  57. Dean Ritz
    June 3, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    The field of law solved this. Based on the original publication of a judicial decision, electronic reprints use *### (e.g, “*723”) to indicate the start of a page with that number. It’s placed inline of the text. That way, the opinions can be formatted and distributed without losing the anchor to the original (reference) pagination. This doesn’t require new technology in the Kindle… just the insertion of those characters in the text. If they wanted to add a feature to the Kindle, the page number notation, above, could be made visible or invisible as a preference.

  58. Dreggor Gade
    May 23, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Well said, Mark. I, too, am having the same problem. Truthfully, it ought to be quite a simple matter for Amazon to include a selection with the wheel (or 2G nub) that can selection the “location” and translate it into what the standard paper text edition would number it as in relation to pages. That really would be an exceptionally simple matter to tackle an introduce in a software update, and an absolutely necessary one if they want to successfully tout the new DX as an academic or business tool.

    There are only two reasons that I can imagine Amazon would not add this basic functionality. One, if they are trying pull some of that Apple/iTunes “proprietary” b.s. in order to rake in some extra cash by crippling their product. If so, for shame. Two, it may perhaps be some little, screwy clause Amazon has with the individual book’s publishing companies that contractually does not allow Amazon to provide that information, with the publishers greedily and indifferently hoping to make consumers and writers alike “double dip” with an electronic and paper version of their text. If so, for shame.

    Regardless, I am going to write and call Amazon specifically about this because it’s becoming too problematic. I highly recommend that everyone reading this does the same thing so that we, the consumers, are heard and kept satisfied, especially when this involves our livelihoods.

  59. Mark Eifler
    May 6, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Thanks for the conversion formula–but the problem cannot be easily solved by MLA.

    I am a history professor, and having ebooks would be a boon to reading, teaching, etc. BUT the lack of page numbers is the tip of the iceberg here. If MLA were to accept Kindle Locations instead of page numbers, how would someone else look the citation up? This is the point of having a citation, after all. Currently I can either buy the book, or (much more likely) I can look it up in a library. But the ONLY way to look up a Kindle location in a citation is to both buy a Kindle and to then buy the book itself. Libraries cannot share Kindle books.

    Today Kindle released the Kindle DX for education, but this problem is likely to be a major problem for Amazon, and may make it incredibly difficult for them to penetrate the academic market. It seems to me there are two possible solutions: Kindle books switch to (or add in) page numbers that correspond to a printed text, OR they make multiple Kindle available to libraries and scholars, and distribute ebooks freely or very next to it (say a one day rental for ten cents, somewhat in the way iTunes lets you rent movies as well as own them). The page number seems the fastest and easiest solution.

    Please note, I am not a lover of page numbers for their own sake. The Location is actually more precise in looking up a citation. BUT the problem is in the inability of other scholars (or a student’s professors) to check on a citation freely–literally “free”-ly. E books have tremendous potential in academia–given the need to publish, and especially in the current market where publishing of any kind (but especially academic publishing) is extremely limited. Were Kindle to simply list page numbers, it could become a booming platform for academic publishing–both books and journals. Given the potential, and Amazon’s goal of penetrating the academic market, it is mystifying why they decided to eliminate the page number.

  60. Richard
    March 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Very helpful, thanks!

  61. August 17, 2008 at 4:48 am

    The dots along the bottom of the page, as you explained them, are so helpful to me now! Thank you. I like knowing where I am in the book and who knew I used that to anticipate the text?!

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