Has that promise come to fruition?
Sort of. Of maybe 15 random Kindle books on my iPad, here's the breakdown:
- 4 have actual page numbers corresponding to actual published books.
- 4 more have "page numbers" corresponding to someone's Platonic conception of an edition that never existed.
- 7 just have location numbers and that infuriating thing where they try to figure out my reading speed, as though you never jump back and forth in a text.
- The public domain texts are least likely to have page numbers, real or imagined, as you'd expect.
- Newer trade books are more likely to have page numbers, but that's not a given.
- Jon Krakauer's Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town has real page numbers, as does David Shields and Shane Salerno's Salinger.
- Robert Douglas-Fairhurst's just-published The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland and Susan M. Schweik's older The Ugly Laws do not; they only have location markers.
At least Amazon tells you whether there are real page numbers or not. If you click on the "length" dropdown tab, it will say one of two things:
- "Contains real page numbers based on the print edition, ISBN #whatever." This will have the real page numbers.
- "Based on the print edition, ISBN #whatever." This will not have the real page numbers.
But wouldn't you think that after four years, the publishers would have gotten the memo about readers wanting page numbers?