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# non-integer page numbers

page numbers which indicate relative position in a book
 (+5) [vote for, against]

Currently we use cardinal numbers on the bottom of pages which reveal only how many pages have elapsed to that point. A system wherein the percent completed is listen in addition to or in lieu of the ordinal number would offer many benifits:

- One could easily tell how close to done one is with the book

- If a sufficient number of digits was used one could calculate the length of the book given any two sucessive page numbers

- Page numbers in citations would be more usefull across printings, especially hard vs. paper back. Your copy may not have a 43.876, but you know you'll find the quote near that number.

 — ry4an, Dec 03 2002

I guess I was thinking mostly works of fiction which (unless shakespeare) when quoted are usually in a useless p220 notation.
 — ry4an, Dec 03 2002

That's does achieve some of the same benifits but it then requires a calculator to convert the hardback books page 112/347 into ?/258 in the paperback. I don't remember what kids learn first in school between decimal numbers and fractions.
 — ry4an, Dec 03 2002

I remember a mathematician on a talk show once talking about writing a book on basic number theory. He wanted to number each of the concepts in the book as it was proven, for easy reference. But he felt he couldn't do this for the first few chapters because he hadn't proved that integers existed yet! He considered using colors to designate the pre-integer theories in the book, but then relented and numbered them anyway. (WTAGIPBAN)
 — krelnik, Dec 03 2002

Number the pages in reverse order.
 — phoenix, Dec 03 2002

You could always use the computer-style "112/347 (32.3%)" notation.
 — bookworm, Dec 03 2002

I perceive a bit of dry wit in the annotation by Rods Tiger
1/220, 1/110, 3/220, 1/55, 1/44, 3/110, 7/220, 2/55, 9/220, 1/22, 1/20, 3/55, 13/220, 7/110, 3/44, 4/55, 17/220, 9/110, 19/220, 1/11, 21/220, 1/10...
 — thumbwax, Dec 04 2002

Since for technical reasons related to folding sheets of paper, pages in books tend to come on blocks of 16 or 32, it would make more sense to use hexadecimal. But I applaud the overall idea. Croissant.
 — 8th of 7, Dec 04 2002

 "Is it a long book?"

"Yeah - pretty long. 100%"
 — whimsickle, Dec 04 2002

1.) Look in the back of the book to see how many pages there are. 2.) Note what page you are on now. 3.) Subtract latter from former to see how many pages you have left. 4.) Enjoy.
 — mrthingy, Jan 02 2003

Baked. Square One TV, a fun little educational show that used to air on PBS, published a children's activity book. It had all sorts of puzzles and stories in it. Each page was numbered differently. Some used fractions, some used percentages, some used geometric representations. I don't have my copy handy, or I'd post some examples.
 — Myself248, Jun 08 2003

[mrThingy], unbeknownst to my parents, the majority of the hours I spent doing my homework were actually spent subtracting CurrentPage from NumberOfPages and dividing by same, then writing same in the margin of CurrentBook. I applaud this idea big time. +1/12
 — phundug, Jun 08 2003

I just started reading a book about Pi. I'm on page 3.1415926535.... (Sorry, I'm being irrational.)
 — Stygian, Aug 03 2003

 I usually figure out how far I am from the end by looking at the thickness of the book.

 But fractional page numbers might have a use. You can indicate where on a page a quotation comes from:

chapter. section. page becomes chapter. section. page. para. line
 — FloridaManatee, Aug 03 2003

References would become ridiculously accurate, as one could give the percentage position not of the page, but of the specific words marking the start and end of the passage one quotes.
 — gardnertoo, Aug 23 2003

 If the goal is to:1) Make references more precise, and2) Indicate distance through a book, then this method is adequate but could be improved upon. I think you'll find some rounding error will be involved. For example, if trying to refer to the 3rd page of a book you'd be pointing at 0.3333333333(rounded), and the second word on this page might be 0.337164751(rounded). If your text is long enough you may not know which word is referenced, as several resolve to the listed rounded number.

 I propose the following notation. Start with [bookworm]'s "x/y (z%)" notiation, but instead of number of pages use number of characters. You'll still have an easy to read rounded percentage, but you'll also be able to reference any character of a text. (whitespace should be excluded from character count)

676/676 (100%)
 — Worldgineer, Aug 25 2003

When I find myself calculating the percentage of the book completed, or measuring the distance its end, it usually means I'm not interested in reading the book as much as in _completing_ it.
I toss the book away and pick up another one. [-]
 — shibolim, Jul 03 2004

Just quoting a page number won't cut it. It's important to note /which/ edition of a published work you are quoting if you include page numbers. Differing editions could have different sized fonts, different sized pages, a different spacing, etc. Hardbacks are generally larger than paper-backs and so have fewer pages.
 — smurfzilla, Jul 04 2004

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