Q: I don’t see real page numbers in my Kindle books. Shouldn’t they be there now?

A: That depends on several things:
1Are you using a Kindle 3?
I have no idea whether Amazon will upgrade older Kindle software for Kindle 2 and DX’s to have these.  I would think they’d be included eventually.  Amazon often takes 6 months to get to the old Kindles with updated software and it’s been longer than that for some changes that should have been added to the DX Graphite at least.  The Kindle 1 with its different type of screen probably would not be updated, as the added calculations could slow down more that slower model.

2Is your Kindle 3 using Update v3.1 ?
Press Menu button, then Settings, and your software version no. will be at the bottom right.   If by now, you don’t have v3.1, I’d call Customer Support at 866-321-8851 but if you’re outside the U.S., try Call me, which is able to call back people in several countries but provides an email form if your country is not on the Call-me list.  Ask them to help you with it, if a manual download (rather than automated) is required at this point.  Sometimes, they can send one to your Kindle, if the update should have been sent earlier.

If you’re comfortable with using your Kindle’s USB cable (that is part of your power cord), to download an update and put it on your Kindle, see this blog’s article on software update v3.1 for information on how to do that.

3If you have Kindle 3 with v3.1 software, have you tried pressing Menu button?
That is the only way to see the real page numbers.  Amazon decided to keep the location and real-page numbers out of the way and showing only the percentage of the book you’ve read so far.  Press Menu and you’ll see the page number *IF* Amazon has added them to that book..

4Most Kindle books don’t have page numbers yet.
Amazon is adding page numbers to books and they definitely prioritize them.
The books must be matched to a specific printed edition and its ISBN #.
If a book has been processed by Amazon to add real-page numbers, this information will show up in the product page’s Product Detail (you need to scroll down a bit to see that).

In their original announcement, they said they’ve ““added real page numbers to tens of thousands of Kindle books, including the top 100 bestselling books in the Kindle Store that have matching print editions and thousands more of the most popular books.”

They’ve continued adding them at a fast pace, from what I read a couple of weeks ago, and they include the usual publishers and also university press books.

5NON-Amazon books definitely won’t have them, as Amazon can’t calculate page numbers on books they don’t have on their servers.

Amazon wrote the following in a Kindle Post Daily over a month ago.

‘ We created algorithms to match the text of print books to Kindle books and organized all of this in the cloud, using our own AWS platform.  The results of this work are stored in Amazon’s Simple Storage Service, where we track the complete history of every page matching file we’ve produced.

We even found a way to deliver page numbers to books that customers had already purchased – without altering those books in any way, so customers’ highlights, notes, and reading location are preserved exactly as they were.

Some other e-bookstores have added virtual “page numbers” to e-books, but we’ve found that these approaches can be confusing and often inconsistent – they don’t map to the page numbers in physical books, and in some cases they don’t account for title pages, blank pages, and other nuances that we see in print books.

‘ [ Andrys’ note here: Sony and iBook page numbers don’t map to print-book pages. ] ‘

… We want you to lose yourself in the reading, so page numbers are only displayed when you push the menu button… ‘

Via Andrys Basten’s A Kindle World blog