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Old 10-06-2019, 04:38 PM   #1
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Page Numbers, Percentage, or nothing at all

Since page number issues have now invaded two threads not about page numbers I'm making this one.

Page numbers - tell you precisely where you are in a book

Percentages - tell you how far in a book you are in a book.

Nothing at all - ebooks don't have pages, the inclusion of page numbers is a call back to physical books. And in most casual use cases when reading you do not need to see either the page number, nor how far in you are. Having the info available in a pop up is thus best, especially with the inclusion of the progress bar giving you an easy to see rough estimate

Feel free to flush out the above.
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Old 10-06-2019, 04:50 PM   #2
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They're all good for me. I don't care for the changing page numbers in kepubs that came with the latest update, though. If I want to use page numbers at all, they should be fixed, like Adobe numbers or Calibre-customized page numbers for Kindle.

But percentage or a progress bar suit me just fine as well. I can always put the overall page number in the book details somewhere before loading the book on my Kobo.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:05 PM   #3
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I like to have page numbers without having the book title showing. (The way it was before the last update.)

I don't care if the numbers are at the top or bottom of the page.

I think Kobo should have kept the previous options available and any changes should have been additions to, not replacements for, the previously available formats.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:07 PM   #4
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I like to have page numbers without having the book title showing. (The way it was before the last update.)
There's a patch for this, works nicely.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:12 PM   #5
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I prefer to have no header and no footer (this includes no progress bar). I would prefer to have one tap bring up page numbers. I would be fine with a setting for what gets displayed.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:15 PM   #6
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I liked the way they implemented it several firmwares ago: tap for the menu, and it would bring up the last menu option/popup selected.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:23 PM   #7
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I have the Count Pages plugin in Calibre set up in a specific way and use that for all of my books, so that if I need to compare page counts I use that (though I also have a column for word number - but pages are more intuitive I guess).

I don't use page numbers for the entire book on my Kobo. I only need percentage (to know how far I am into the book) and chapter progress (in pages usually, so that I know how much I need to read until I can take a break). I hide the footer with the progress bar turned on, and I'm pretty happy with the new layout.
I sometimes alternate with reading on my phone or listening to the audiobook (if it's a long book); to find my spot I use chapter markings and/or percentage and fiddle until I find my place. This works well enough for me.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:23 PM   #8
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Nothing at all for me, a "position" together with a percentage, like a Kindle, is enough in my opinion, and moreover I disable header and footer.

I really think that page numbers can be applied only to physical books.

Last edited by ps67; 10-06-2019 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MGlitch View Post
Page numbers - tell you precisely where you are in a book
Faux pages don't tell you this. They present a multiple of some count of characters from some arbitrary position. And the accuracy is questionable. For example, faux page 32 in an ebook with only text and faux page 32 in an ebook with 16 full page illustrations up to that point won't line up.

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Percentages - tell you how far in a book you are in a book.
Progress tells you the same information that faux page does if you were to divide the current faux page by the total number of faux pages and then divide by 100. Percentage can with sufficient precision provide the same information that faux page provides while also conveying a reasonable approximation of how much of the book is left in a single number or a position on a slider.

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Nothing at all - ebooks don't have pages, the inclusion of page numbers is a call back to physical books.
In fact, some of Adobe's own reference material on ADE says as much. ADE pages are a convenience for typesetters and publishers to give them a rough guide to how many screens full of text an ebook on an ebook reader is. It's marketing. A book won't sell well if customers perceive it as being "too big".

If you need actual pages then you should use an image-based format like DjVu or a page definition language format like PDF which offer consistent 1:1 corespondance with their respective print editions and other devices.

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And in most casual use cases when reading you do not need to see either the page number, nor how far in you are. Having the info available in a pop up is thus best, especially with the inclusion of the progress bar giving you an easy to see rough estimate
This is a different but related topic. It's where information should be displayed rather than what information is to be displayed.
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 4691mls View Post
I like to have page numbers without having the book title showing. (The way it was before the last update.)

I don't care if the numbers are at the top or bottom of the page.

I think Kobo should have kept the previous options available and any changes should have been additions to, not replacements for, the previously available formats.
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There's a patch for this, works nicely.
I came into this thread as a spin-off from the thread on the new firmware so I was thinking in terms of what's going on with the firmware
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:32 PM   #11
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Pages left in chapter for me.

I prefer not to stop reading mid chapter, so I only start with a chapter if I know I can finish it. So always knowing how many pages there are (left) in the chapter is the only progress info need.

I also happen to like it's displayed in the header now, because a header is more aesthetically pleasing to me than a footer.

Last edited by tourneur; 10-06-2019 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratinox View Post
Faux pages don't tell you this. They present a multiple of some count of characters from some arbitrary position. And the accuracy is questionable. For example, faux page 32 in an ebook with only text and faux page 32 in an ebook with 16 full page illustrations up to that point won't line up.
Regardless of page numbers being arbitrary in ebooks and between different ebooks/editions they still can serve to tell you exactly where you are if a system was devised to calculate it that didn’t rely on word counts or screen sizes. It’d still be an imposed system but it does serve to tell you that you’re ‘x’ pages in out of ‘y’ even if both are made up concepts.


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Progress tells you the same information that faux page does if you were to divide the current faux page by the total number of faux pages and then divide by 100. Percentage can with sufficient precision provide the same information that faux page provides while also conveying a reasonable approximation of how much of the book is left in a single number or a position on a slider.
Yes and no, since percent is only given as a whole number in Kobos UI, the larger a book the less accurate percentage will be since each page will count as less and less toward that total. I’m reading a book now which would only see a 1% change after several lengthy chapters. A page number system like ADE would be far more precise.

Quote:
In fact, some of Adobe's own reference material on ADE says as much. ADE pages are a convenience for typesetters and publishers to give them a rough guide to how many screens full of text an ebook on an ebook reader is. It's marketing. A book won't sell well if customers perceive it as being "too big".
This is very dependent upon the genre of the book. Fantasy, science fiction, and the various non fiction genres don’t suffer nearly as much as general fiction. And is less true for ebooks than physical as a whole since there’s no physical visual reference for the length of an ebook.

Quote:
If you need actual pages then you should use an image-based format like DjVu or a page definition language format like PDF which offer consistent 1:1 corespondance with their respective print editions and other devices.
I’d agree the only system for page numbers should be something universal one. I’m not going to try and create such a system since I really don’t care about page numbers in my reading. I want a good story not some ego boost of I’m on page 698 of 759. And I’d argue for chapters most are short enough that percentage would suffice, unless the ebook is horribly formatted but that’s a wholly different issue, if percentage alone doesn’t work then percentage and estimated time remaining.

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This is a different but related topic. It's where information should be displayed rather than what information is to be displayed.
Honestly I just wanted to condense as much/all of the page number chatter to one thread. If only so other threads could be free of it.
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:26 PM   #13
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I don't care about chapter info generally, but do like to have at least a rough idea of where I am in the book overall. The progress bar in recent Kobo firmware is perfectly adequate for that purpose imo. Page numbers in ebooks are so arbitrary that I use them only for my Goodreads challenge, selecting whichever ebook edition has the biggest "page size" to inflate my page count stats for the year, since I don't read paper books
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:34 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by MGlitch View Post
Regardless of page numbers being arbitrary in ebooks and between different ebooks/editions they still can serve to tell you exactly where you are if a system was devised to calculate it that didn’t rely on word counts or screen sizes. It’d still be an imposed system but it does serve to tell you that you’re ‘x’ pages in out of ‘y’ even if both are made up concepts.
The only other way I can think to do that is to hard paginate like with PDF. This is a good idea for reference materials. It's a terrible idea for fiction.

What's amusing to me about this is that ADE pages are in fact based on screen size and point size. One ADE page is approximately 1K of text or about 1/4 of one 8.5x11" printed page with 10 point text or about one screen's worth of text on a 6" reader.


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Yes and no, since percent is only given as a whole number in Kobos UI, the larger a book the less accurate percentage will be since each page will count as less and less toward that total. I’m reading a book now which would only see a 1% change after several lengthy chapters. A page number system like ADE would be far more precise.
ADE pages cannot be any more precise because ADE pages and percentages are the same numbers. Don't confuse what the numbers are with how they are displayed. Percentages could easily be displayed with decimal parts. I don't know if this is a good idea or not.


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This is very dependent upon the genre of the book. Fantasy, science fiction, and the various non fiction genres don’t suffer nearly as much as general fiction. And is less true for ebooks than physical as a whole since there’s no physical visual reference for the length of an ebook.
A good UI is self-consistent among other things. What you describe is a baked-in inconsistency in what the UI displays if you're using faux pages based on character counts. So this is an argument against faux pages in a general purpose device.

Following your reasoning and tempering with the origin of ADE pages which appear to beloved around here I come to the conclusion that the only self-consistent way to numerically paginate an ebook on an ebook reading device is by page turns.
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:06 PM   #15
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The only other way I can think to do that is to hard paginate like with PDF. This is a good idea for reference materials. It's a terrible idea for fiction.
Agreed, especially if this makes the text non-interactive since the level of rage not being able to highlight text would bring about here would make the page number issue here seem like nothing.

Quote:
What's amusing to me about this is that ADE pages are in fact based on screen size and point size. One ADE page is approximately 1K of text or about 1/4 of one 8.5x11" printed page with 10 point text or about one screen's worth of text on a 6" reader.

ADE pages cannot be any more precise because ADE pages and percentages are the same numbers. Don't confuse what the numbers are with how they are displayed. Percentages could easily be displayed with decimal parts. I don't know if this is a good idea or not.
I'd think for the majority of books decimals in percentages would be silly, but I'm also of the mind that page numbers in ebooks is even sillier. And the cases where the level of specificity required by what we have with page numbers in specific editions of physical books is largely limited to academic circles. The number of people reading on multiple devices which don't sync is likely a statistical rounding error in terms of users. Though you wouldn't believe that from what some people say here. Though I will grant syncing could be improved, there's also the issue of wifi not being literally everywhere anyway so syncing is going to be plagued with issues for the foreseeable future.

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A good UI is self-consistent among other things. What you describe is a baked-in inconsistency in what the UI displays if you're using faux pages based on character counts. So this is an argument against faux pages in a general purpose device.
Following your reasoning and tempering with the origin of ADE pages which appear to beloved around here I come to the conclusion that the only self-consistent way to numerically paginate an ebook on an ebook reading device is by page turns.[/QUOTE]


I wouldn't use character counts, though again I'm not sure what system I'd want it to use. Perhaps tie any ebook w/ a physical book to the physical books first release, not a word or character count but literally coded in to the epub "somehow" so that it starts a page at the word that would start a page in the physical book and ends it in a similar fashion. As to how to handle ebooks with no physical release maybe leave it up to the publisher. Since we don't actually need two different ebooks to have comparable pages to each other in terms of page length just to be consistent across devices. Which I imagine is what you're describing.

*Yes, I know you're not going to like this idea, again both of us I feel are of the same mind on page numbers and this is just a discussion on how a inherently flawed and pointless system can be best adjusted to be the least bad.
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