I read an interview with Jeff Bezos a few weeks ago. In the course of this interview, Bezos said he was very proud of having added the page numbering to Kindle editions.
I'll admit to not having read up on the concept much, but am I the only one that thinks this whole thing is an awful
idea? We use page numbers because books have been traditionally a thick sheaf of thin sheets all glued or sewn together, and it makes it easy to go back to where you were, jot down notes for others, formally cite a work, etc. What could possibly be the point of emulating the numbering system, completely divorced from any actual reason for that numbering system? It's so meaningless, that if I flip through a book on my Kindle, I have to go through multiple screens of text to see a page number change. What's is the use of that?
All right, so one argument is that it lets you interface with paper book readers. But which ones? The ones who are using the hardback, paperback, edition 23 or edition 5? There is a reason why page numbers have never been a reliable referencing system, and that's why we mark down the publisher and year when it is important to find the source again. Except, we don't even get that with Amazon. It's just a mysterious, awfully vague number that describes an arbitrary non-convenient block of text that may or may not work with your friend's paper copy.
And meanwhile if you want to get the actual location for a highlight out of your reader, you have to now jump through hoops because of the system preferring the "page" number. Am I also the only one that likes
locations? What's not to like about them? They take you right to where you want to go +/- a few words. You don't even have to mess around with the clunky old "third sentence in paragraph five on page 231" hack that only works if you both have the exact same edition.
Maybe it's the implementation that bothers me. I wouldn't mind if I could ask
the reader for the page number for the highlighted phrase in the 2009 Penguin Classics edition. That would be nice and handy, no doubt about it. I have no gripe with that
. My gripe is how now my e-book says "Page 325" at the bottom, assuming I want to use this weird irrelevant construct over what has already worked just fine for years now, and that this construct is only relevant to one printed edition in existence, and that edition is undocumented (as far as I know).
I don't know, I'm not speaking "officially" here as L&L opinion. I'm just reading this thread with a bemused look on my face. Trying to coerce "page numbers" into an e-book feels like driving your car around with a riding crop, to me.