The book gods have punished me for my apostasy. It turns out the Kindle has no mechanism for telling you the physical page number you are on in the book. This makes it problematic for scholarly purposes, since page numbers are usually expected for a proper citation.
It never even occurred to me that this would be the case. I knew, from having seen other people’s Kindles, that it identifies your position in the text via a system of “locations,” and with a little scroll bar along the bottom of the screen. I just assumed (!!) that there was some feature that allowed you to convert from a location number to a print page number. They’re not obsolete yet!
Apparently I”m not the only one to have noticed this problem. And it seems that the Nook and the Sony E-Readers also do not have a mechanism for converting their own location systems to the print page number of the book, so it looks like we’ll just have to get used to this. There are other ways of locating a text, after all. You can give a chapter number and a paragraph number (or section number if it’s a journal article). To judge from this, it would seem that scholarly organizations are quickly catching up. We already cite text from web pages that do not have fixed page numbers, so perhaps this is not really a big deal.
Still, it sure is annoying.