where the writers are
Kindles without page numbers?

I discovered this wonderful discussion site Kindleboards a few weeks ago. (This link takes you to the thread on my book, but of course there is loads more there.)


The downside, is it is feeding my growing appetite to actually get one of the little buggers for myself. If Amazon drops the price to the magic $99 level, I think I'll take the plunge--or put one on my Christmas list.


The site has also taught me a lot about what has drawn so many people to the Kindle, and how they experience books on them. That's great insight for an author. But a few mini surprises have come up for me. Like . . .


Kindles don't include page numbers.


Huh. I get why: the Kindle screen varies from what a printed book page includes, and because you set your own font size, I varies from person to person.


But this gnaws at me as an author. I love that the device tailors the display to each reader, but I have this conception of both chapters and pages as these entities I've created: sort of vessels that hold a certain amount of info. And I don't feel completely comfortable with it being dismissed.


Maybe that's silly, but I have some practical concerns.  It came up this weekend, as I was working on a big expansion and re-design of the Columbine Instructor Guide. We broke out suggested reading assignments for various topics. For example, here's the actual reading list for one topic:


PTSD (and recovery). Pages:

    96-98 (Chapter 19 “Vacuuming”)

    101-2, 106-7




    354-8 (Chapter 53 “At the Broken Places”)


So how do you tell students what to read on a Kindle? Young people are likely to be early adopters, and schools will be a huge market once prices come down.


It also seems to me that I cite page numbers from time to time when discussing books--especially in class, when I was in grad school: constantly. ("On page xxx, I liked how . . .") I would think book clubs have the same issue, though I've never been in one. But they are very important to sustaining books.


Do you guys find yourselves hampered by that much?


I think they need to create something. Seems easy enough. Or is there some other way to do it?

BTW, here's the new look for the instructor guide. We're still working on it. I hope to have it complete next week.


2 Comment count
Comment Bubble Tip

Thank you for this!

I have a kindle app on my phone (and like you, will be hinting for a kindle for Christmas) but it does drive me crazy without the page numbers!

What I'm thinking for students is that to read until a certain chapter, because that's still good, right?

Jennifer Gibbons, Red Room

Comment Bubble Tip

Thanks, Jennifer. I'm

Thanks, Jennifer. I'm relieved to hear I'm not alone in finding that design "feature" a little nuts.

The "read until" method works in assigning the whole books, but we have some classes only using parts of it. And we also wanted to create a sort of cheat sheet, for students and teachers too, that four info on PTSD, look at these sets of pages.

It's just hard to discuss a book without a reference point like page numbers.