Kindle to Add Page Numbers, Sort Of

One of my biggest beefs with the Kindle (I have the Kindle DX first gen) is that I cannot see page numbers.  Considering the DX was made for textbooks and professional manuals, the lack of a page number of any kind makes the device relatively useless.  “Turn to page 329 in your text” does nothing for me, I have to search by content or know what chapter I’m looking for, then search back and forth manually a few pages to see if I can get to where my classmates are in the book.  And just for fiction reading, it’s nice to know what page I’m on.  If the book is 200 pages long, and I’m on page 98, then I know I’m almost half-way through, which tells me how much longer before I’m finished with the book.  That might seem cosmetic, but I’ve been reading books for a long time and there are just some things I’ve gotten used to.

I’m not the only one to have complained about the lack of page numbers.  I have a few friends who’ve asked me (because they think I’m an expert) to show them how to turn on page numbers.  I have to tell them that there is no way to turn on page numbers, that there isn’t a feature for that.

Amazon has announced that a software upgrade now makes it possible to display the page numbers on the latest generation of Kindles.  That doesn’t do me a whole lot of good, but it does mean that from now on, people who want page numbers can have them.  The feature is also available on the Kindle for iPhone/iPad/PC too, through a standard update.

The downside is the numbers don’t appear automatically, you have to press the menu button to get them.  And Amazon is not going to make the feature available on older devices, like mine.  But, when it’s time to upgrade my Kindle (if I decide to do that) the addition of the page numbers may make me decide on the Kindle instead of a different device.