Page Numbers on Kindle?

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Randomgold
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Page Numbers on Kindle?

Post by Randomgold » 24 Dec 2016, 13:28

I've been using my phone's Kindle app to read for awhile now, and there's one thing that's been bugging me: locations. I just don't get them. I mean, how does is one page 3,290 while the next is 3,301 or something like that? I'd much prefer good ol' page numbers myself. But that does not seem to be an option for some reason. Am I missing something? Is there some hidden way of getting my precious page numbers back? Or am I stuck trying to figure out the location numbers instead?
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BarryEM
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Post by BarryEM » 25 Dec 2016, 10:55

I read a description of how locations work a few years ago so I may have misremembered some of the details. Anyway what I recall is that locations are 128 characters apart. Keep in mind that characters include more than letters. A space is a character in a text file and a paragraph ending is a character and a tab is a single character even though it looks like more. The indentation of a paragraph isn't a character. So basically a character can be text or something placed in the text for formatting.

Every 128 characters is a new location.

The problem with page numbers on an ereader is that they don't make the kind of intuitive sense that they make in a paper book. You don't really have any sort of fixed pages in ebooks. Change the text size and you've changed the pages. That's why locations were invented; to find a way around that issue.

Obviously people are used to page numbers and a lot of complaints were made about not having them so Amazon did come up with a page number option for Kindles. They're pretty artificial but still useful for certain things so a lot of publishers and authors have included them in their books. But it's not automatic. If the publisher doesn't include them they aren't there. Some books have them. Many don't.

It's worth remembering when you do get a book with page numbers that they probably don't correspond to the page numbers in a printed copy of the same book. If both are from the same publisher they might correspond or might not. If they're from different publishers they're not likely to. So page numbers really have little practical advantage over locations. It's just that people feel more comfortable with them.

Personally I'm happy with either one. If a book has page numbers I use them as my guide. If not I use locations. Even when it does have page numbers I sometimes find locations more useful.

By the way, when you get a book with page numbers and you turn a page you probably haven't changed the page number. Page numbers usually don't correlate with the pages on the screen. Those are very different things. And they're different for every book. I'll read one book where 2 or 3 page turns are needed to change the page number and then another where 6 or 7 turns are needed. Sometimes they're close to a page per turn but that's less common. Change the text size and that all changes.

When I read on my phone using Moon+ reader, which I do a lot on the go, the text scrolls. I keep it set so that there are no page turns. I slide the text up on the screen to keep reading, usually a paragraph at a time. In this situation every book is exactly 1 page long.

If you're happy with page numbers so be it. We all like what we like. But just remember that page numbers are natural and sensible in printed books and in ebooks are more like a security blanket. They're nice to have even though they don't really make much sense. Kind of like my sister, who rarely makes sense but I'm glad she's around. :)

Barry

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Post by Corybarclay » 27 Dec 2016, 01:43

It is pretty annoying not to have automated page numbers, and I agree on not wanting to do math to figure out how far along I am via "locations." I suppose there aren't page numbers because each font is different and each book's format is different.
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BarryEM
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Post by BarryEM » 27 Dec 2016, 08:37

You do the exact same math with either page numbers or locations. The difference is really that you're used to page numbers. You probably have more intuitive understanding of them, similar to inches vs centimeters. If you want to develop that feel for locations just use them and pay a little attention as you do and you'll get used to them.

In general an average size book is about 4500 locations. If I'm at location 450 I assume I'm 1/4 of the way through the book. It's no more difficult than that once you get used to it.

Of course books are seldom average length so if a book doesn't have page numbers I look at how many locations it has when I start reading, which I always do with page numbers as well. I just keep that number in mind as I read and I kind of know where I am.

Most readers also give you a percentage and you can go by that just as easily. This is only a problem if you let it be.

Barry

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Post by Rainbow gem 35 » 04 Jan 2017, 03:46

Thanks for the explaining the locations. I had wondered about this for a while now. While I was previously obsessed with the page number I now find it am equally obsessed with the percentage. I am frequently in competition with my daughter ( 10) and percentage is oureally gage. While other families will call out "goodnight" or " good morning " we call out "50 percent" "ooooh 99 percent"!!

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Post by noel548 » 10 Jan 2017, 14:19

There might be a way hidden under some obscure menu point.
Look around the edges that is where developers hide the menu sometimes.
Also long presses reveal sometimes some hidden features.

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Post by Chitopogi » 20 Apr 2017, 06:45

Not having the page numbers on my EBooks is a bit of a disappointment for me. But I don't mind as long as the book is engrossing and entertaining!

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Post by EMoffat » 10 Jun 2017, 17:34

I don't understand the location thing at all... I guess they don't have page numbers because of you change the font size etc they would change all the time... I do miss them though! I do like that you can have it set to how much time is left in the chapter though

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Post by BarryEM » 10 Jun 2017, 18:27

Locations are simple. Each location has 128 letters, numbers, spaces or punctuation marks. That's a far more rational measure for an ebook than page numbers.

The thing is we get used to page numbers over the years so they have meaning for us. We're not used to locations. But if you pay attention to them and don't just ignore them they become meaningful fairly soon.

Barry

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Post by Licareads » 12 Aug 2017, 18:43

As far as I have noticed, the pages are some book format thing. Some books use position and others have the pages, but even so it all varies and depends on the font and font size to know how many "pages" you flip to count a percent and a position or page number. Most of times I just hope the book has chapter markers and use the countdown for each chapter and to end of book to guide myself.

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Post by Christina Rose » 16 Aug 2017, 21:24

I've noticed that some books I read on my Kindle app do have page numbers and some don't. I'm not sure why that is. Off the top of my head, I remember the Harry Potter books having page numbers, and also Stephan King's It. But, the book I'm read now doesn't. It was sent to me by the author, so maybe that's why?
I'm not a fan of using location instead of page numbers. If I'm reading something that doesn't seem to include the page numbers, then I will usually switch to how long I have in the chapter or how long I have in the book. I don't know why I'm so bothered by locations instead of page numbers. I'm sure it's just because I don't like change much. ?
As far as the different font styles and sizes go, I've noticed the page numbers switch as close to where they would in the book as possible, based on where in the reading the page turns. Sometimes I'll be on the same page number for 3 screens, if that makes sense, because I like bigger font.

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Post by BarryEM » 17 Aug 2017, 07:15

Kindles originally only had locations but people wanted something familiar so Amazon gave authors and publishers the ability to include page numbers. Some authors and publishers have done so. Others haven't.

It's probably worth keeping in mind that page numbers are entirely artificial. They often do correspond with pages in paper versions but often they don't. Authors often just stick in a page marker every so often and it's meaningless, but if it feels right that's fine.

Locations, on the other hand, represent 128 characters in the book. Characters include letters and numbers as well as invisible characters such as spaces, tabs, end of paragraph markers, etc.

I often read with an app called Moon+ Reader and it has the most rational way of doing this. A page full of text on the screen is a page. Very obvious! Of course when I change the text size or margins page numbers change. I can live with that. At the bottom of the page is a marker looking like (4/22) meaning there are 4 pages left in this 22 page chapter. If I change the font size that also changes. So while that makes paging kind of ephemeral it also makes it more useful.

I wish they all worked that way. Amazon, did you hear that! :)

Barry

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Post by Anirudh Badri » 20 Aug 2017, 09:18

The page numbers on Kindles dont match with the paperback version. The location is something I only find useful when I am searching for something that I had saved.
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Post by AliceofX » 18 Oct 2017, 04:23

Thanks BarryEM for the explanation. I guess it's just a conflict between what makes sense for technology and what makes sense for people. Personally, I would prefer page numbers even if they change with font size.

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Post by Gifty Naa Akushia » 25 Oct 2017, 15:44

Thanks for the explanations on page numbers and locations on the the Kindle app.
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