When There Are No Page Numbers

People are surprised when I tell them that ebooks for the most part don’t have page numbers. The primary reason for this is that any change in the font or screen size would immediately throw-off what “page” you were reading.

I have often wondered how you would recommend or cite a section to a fellow reader. It turns about I am not the only one pondering the AP Style Guideline implications to this technological quandary.

Ben Casnocha wonders and provides a pretty good answer:

“How will we cite pages from a book if books appear in formats (Kindle, Nook, etc) with different page numbering systems? I know on the Kindle there is no way to see what the corresponding page number is in the printed edition. Dave Jilk tells me: “It turns out that it rarely takes more than three or four sequential words to identify a unique signature for a location in a written work – even a long work. You can try it out by going onto Gutenberg and using your browser search. The advantage of this is that it crosses media and format boundaries.” Perhaps this will be the new citation standard?”

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