Amazon revolutionises Kindle and social reading -

Amazon continues to redefine the social reading experience with innovative publishing solutions which will shake-up the ways we read going forward, and address the key issues holding e-readers back.

Yes! The Kindle will now ship with page numbers. Previously a feature - Amazon and its plaudits say you don't need them in the age of electronic gizmos remembering for you - it has u-turned and accepted that page numbers are, just sometimes, in certain circles, useful.

"Here you are, book club nerds!" Amazon shouts, perched atop a pot of e-gold. "We are generously adding page numbers!"

Since the Kindle is touted as an accessible device aimed at the unwashed, the most unwashed of all are students who were looking forward to carrying one device instead of the back-breaking backpack full of dog-eared texts. It makes sense for them to have page numbers. Or for any book at all. Having to find a passage on the back of "about two thirds the way into chapter nine" or quoting percentages is frankly crap and will never make its way onto the Richard and Judy Book Club. Still, just like a real book, page numbers will  be there.

Amazon speaks for itself: "Our customers have told us they want real page numbers that match the page numbers in print books so they can easily reference and cite passages, and read alongside others in a book club or class," the Kindle says from its bog.  

"Rather than add page numbers that don’t correspond to print books, which is how page numbers have been added to e-books in the past, we’re adding real page numbers that correspond directly to a book’s print edition. We’ve already 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.  

"Page numbers will also be available on our free “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” Kindle apps in the coming months."

Also introduced will be a new layout of newspapers and magazines to provide a "quick snapshot" of the news.

The latest software update, 3.1, will also urge readers to rate their books online as soon as they're done - which can, if you want, be seen across your social network. Interesting browny points for Gurdjeff, not so much for Jilly Coopers' "The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous".