A software update for Kindle is bringing features that really ought to have been around from the beginning: real page numbers that match what’s in hard-copy versions of books, a public notes feature that lets you share your thoughts with the world, and an end-of-book section that lets you share messages about the book with your social network. Taken together, the update makes the Kindle more user-friendly for the book club set–whether meeting up in person or online.
The most sorely needed function was the real page numbers, which come as a relief to users who complained they couldn’t read along with others in book club or in class. For Amazon not to have included this feature to begin with seems symptomatic of a sort of over-reaching optimism that accompanied the Kindle’s initial release: Since e-books were the future, there was no need to make accommodations to an obsolete hard-copy past. But since hard-copy books are still around (and owners of Kindles do still deign to speak with those who visit the library), the more forward-thinking option is to integrate these communities by allowing them to be literally on the same page.
Eager Kindlers can download a preview version of the software here.