8 Replies Latest reply on Feb 14, 2011 5:43 PM by BeckyWC

    Page numbering and the Kindle controversy

    Doug_Pardee

      Over at CNet, David Carnoy's "Fully Equipped" column today is about the controversy in Kindle-land about how Kindle doesn't have page numbers for e-books. Instead, it uses a "location" identifier that looks something like 224-18.

       

      Some of the commenters, both on the Kindle forums that Carnoy cites and on Carnoy's article, point out that NOOK and Sony are able to show page numbers. Heh. They don't know that the page numbers are created by the Adobe software contained in NOOK and Sony, and are just Adobe's equivalent of a location identifier, dressed up to look like a page number.

       

      This stuff reminds me how far we yet have to travel in making e-books a full substitute for "real" books in many people's minds. Reflowable text is just plain different, and it acts differently. It would be nice, though if Adobe would recognize the page number assignments in the NCX file in EPUBs. There's a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation there, as maybe publishers aren't putting the page numbers in because Adobe software ignores them, and maybe Adobe ignores them because the publishers aren't putting them in.

       

      My personal preference is that Adobe work on getting automatic hyphenation into their reading software. One of the aesthetic complaints that some book-lovers have about e-books is that fully-justified text looks ugly because of the huge gaps between words in some lines, and that "rag right" text just looks ugly period. Once we eventually get that, I imagine it'll be a long time before we see reading software that automatically detects "rivers" and adjusts the typography accordingly.

       

        • Re: Page numbering and the Kindle controversy

          In my opinion, eBooks are still in the stage as when color TV was during the 50's.  It yet has to be perfected.

          • Re: Page numbering and the Kindle controversy

            I'm just happy we have eBooks.

             

            Yes, we have a long way to go before eBooks are like tangible booksl, but I'm not sure I want that.  I still buy a great deal of actual books and only buy "throw-away" books on my NookColor.  If I am going to drop $5 or even $10, I'm going to buy the actual book for that price rather than a data file I can only read on a certain device if it has enough battery power.

             

            Even though I'm a young adult in the technology age, I would much rather carry around an actual book rather than my NookColor tablet, however conviency requires otherwise.

              • Re: Page numbering and the Kindle controversy
                ChipPM

                With your buying habits you are definitely bucking the trend according to this NY Times article in today's paper.

                 

                http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/05/books/05ebooks.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper

                 

                I am a not so young person (but not old either, I think) trying to buy most if not all my new books in ebook format. Sadly,I have no more room for books--unless I get more rooms. Not happening anytime soon unless I win the lottery or a rich relative dies. (Have lots of relative...none rich or in their wills anyway.)

                 

                I am even buying ebooks that I have not finished the second or third etc. in the series even though I have bought them to read. The whole series I mean even if I have already read the first.

                 

                I have not yet actually 'gotten rid' of the sets of books yet. I'm still torn but I'll have to bite the bullet sometime, either selling them preferably or giving them away.

                 

                What I need is a 'magic button' on my nook. "Replace actual books owned with the ebook version."

                 

                I wouldn't even mind paying the difference in price...but if wishes were horses I'd have a whole herd by now....but where would I put those...

                 

                 

              • Amazon announces "Real Page Numbers" for Kindle 3
                Doug_Pardee

                Amazon announced today that it's rolling out a new software update for the Kindle 3. One of the features is described thus:

                Real Page Numbers – Our customers have told us they want real page numbers that match the page numbers in print books so they can easily reference and cite passages, and read alongside others in a book club or class.  Rather than add page numbers that don’t correspond to print books, which is how page numbers have been added to e-books in the past, we’re adding real page numbers that correspond directly to a book’s print edition. We’ve already added real page numbers to tens of thousands of Kindle books, including the top 100 bestselling books in the Kindle Store that have matching print editions and thousands more of the most popular books.  Page numbers will also be available on our free “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” Kindle apps in the coming months.

                Hmm. I don't expect Adobe to start recognizing the NCX pageList data in EPUB files real soon — which is where "real page numbers" would be — especially since those page numbers will necessarily be different from the made-up numbers that Adobe currently uses and which Adobe has gone to a lot of trouble to make sure that the made-up numbers are constant in any given EPUB. Besides, I doubt that the publishers are going to start adding pageList data to their EPUBs anyway.

                 

                It looks like this is one feature that Amazon's going to be ahead of most of the EPUB world on. There does remain the question of what to do about titles that don't have a printed version.

                 

                  • Re: Amazon announces "Real Page Numbers" for Kindle 3
                    bklvr896

                     


                    Doug_Pardee wrote:

                    Amazon announced today that it's rolling out a new software update for the Kindle 3. One of the features is described thus:

                    Real Page Numbers – Our customers have told us they want real page numbers that match the page numbers in print books so they can easily reference and cite passages, and read alongside others in a book club or class.  Rather than add page numbers that don’t correspond to print books, which is how page numbers have been added to e-books in the past, we’re adding real page numbers that correspond directly to a book’s print edition. We’ve already added real page numbers to tens of thousands of Kindle books, including the top 100 bestselling books in the Kindle Store that have matching print editions and thousands more of the most popular books.  Page numbers will also be available on our free “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” Kindle apps in the coming months.

                    Hmm. I don't expect Adobe to start recognizing the NCX pageList data in EPUB files real soon — which is where "real page numbers" would be — especially since those page numbers will necessarily be different from the made-up numbers that Adobe currently uses and which Adobe has gone to a lot of trouble to make sure that the made-up numbers are constant in any given EPUB. Besides, I doubt that the publishers are going to start adding pageList data to their EPUBs anyway.

                     

                    It looks like this is one feature that Amazon's going to be ahead of most of the EPUB world on. There does remain the question of what to do about titles that don't have a printed version.

                     


                    Except for which print edition?  HC, paperback, what about reprints.  And what happens when a page on the Kindle book spans two pages in the printed book?  Is it just going to stop in the middle of the eInk page and go to the next?  Is it going to show two page numbers?  And when you change the font, it changes again.  

                     

                     

                    Seems like really opens the door for some confusion.  But, hey, hope it works for them, personnally, the page numbering doesn't bother me.

                      • Re: Amazon announces "Real Page Numbers" for Kindle 3

                        I just mentioned the font change in the other forum before I saw this.  I like changing fonts.  I don't do it often but I like having the flexibility.  So if I make the font smaller do the words only fill up half the page or something?  And how could I possibly make the font bigger?  Does the Kindle grow so the page numbers aren't affected?  Hmmmm.....

                        • Re: Amazon announces "Real Page Numbers" for Kindle 3

                           


                          bklvr896 wrote:

                           


                          Doug_Pardee wrote:

                          Amazon announced today that it's rolling out a new software update for the Kindle 3. One of the features is described thus:

                          Real Page Numbers – Our customers have told us they want real page numbers that match the page numbers in print books so they can easily reference and cite passages, and read alongside others in a book club or class.  Rather than add page numbers that don’t correspond to print books, which is how page numbers have been added to e-books in the past, we’re adding real page numbers that correspond directly to a book’s print edition. We’ve already added real page numbers to tens of thousands of Kindle books, including the top 100 bestselling books in the Kindle Store that have matching print editions and thousands more of the most popular books.  Page numbers will also be available on our free “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” Kindle apps in the coming months.

                          Hmm. I don't expect Adobe to start recognizing the NCX pageList data in EPUB files real soon — which is where "real page numbers" would be — especially since those page numbers will necessarily be different from the made-up numbers that Adobe currently uses and which Adobe has gone to a lot of trouble to make sure that the made-up numbers are constant in any given EPUB. Besides, I doubt that the publishers are going to start adding pageList data to their EPUBs anyway.

                           

                          It looks like this is one feature that Amazon's going to be ahead of most of the EPUB world on. There does remain the question of what to do about titles that don't have a printed version.

                           


                          Except for which print edition?  HC, paperback, what about reprints.  And what happens when a page on the Kindle book spans two pages in the printed book?  Is it just going to stop in the middle of the eInk page and go to the next?  Is it going to show two page numbers?  And when you change the font, it changes again.  

                           

                           

                          Seems like really opens the door for some confusion.  But, hey, hope it works for them, personnally, the page numbering doesn't bother me.


                           

                          The page numbering wasn't an issue for me as a k user. But, just to add, the ebook info page will give you the ISBN number of the physical book that the pages are keyed to. So, it will be quite easy to figure out which print edition is being used for page numbers. So, there shouldn't be any confusion as long as people keep that bit of info in mind.