After posting about the new list view on Kindles yesterday, several people mentioned how they miss the book length feature that used to show on the old list view, aka “the dots”, that gave a visual representation of each book’s overall length.
It’s nice to know how long a book is when you’re looking to start a new one, and that was a good way to tell at a glance. But now the dots are gone and the new list view just shows a generic bar for each book that’s downloaded with a percentage of how much you’ve read. It gives no indication how long the book is or how many pages are in the book.
Update: As noted in the comments below, it turns out the bar lengths do vary to some degree so you can still get an idea of book length with the new interface, but the bar lengths seem to be less accurate than the dot system for whatever reason, so a lot of books will have a bar with the same length, even though there might be a 250+ page-count difference.
I noticed the Kindle iPad app still has the dots that indicate book length when using list view. So why did they remove this feature from Kindle ereaders?
I know not everyone uses it because it only works in list view, but Kindles have had that feature for over ten years, and now it’s gone. Again. I can remember this same thing happening about six years ago. Amazon mysteriously removed “the dots” after a software update that changed the user interface around (sound familiar?). Then people complained about it, and Amazon actually listened and brought the dots back a few updates later.
Maybe that same thing will happen again. Maybe not. They seem to be less receptive to customer complaints than they used to be, but since the iPad app still has the dots it seems odd they would remove them from Kindles. However, the Kindle Android app on my phone doesn’t have the dots either. Maybe that’s the direction they’re heading. Or maybe it depends on the screen size how much information gets displayed.
Either way, the dots were useful and I hope they bring them back (again). How else are you supposed to quickly tell a 1000 page book from a 200 page novella? A book length indicator is a pretty important feature to have on an ereader. You don’t know how useful it is until it’s gone.
I really hope they don’t bring it back. I didn’t like it and I hope they are going to redesign the iOS app to look the same as the new Kindle UI.
On the other hand if there’s one thing I miss, it would be a line stating which series the book belongs to and what part it is. Like Pocketbook, which will show you for example “Harry Potter #3”.
Klaus Yde says
Why cant we have both?
Well, if it was optional, then I’m good with it. But I doubt Amazon would make it optional, they would just reverse it to what it looked like I believe.
Lynn K says
With the dots, I could always tell whether my next read will for long or short. That would determine whether I want to invest in the time it would take to read the book if I was in a rush to finish a series. For exam[le the Wheel of Time series was really long (400 pages or more on some) on each book and other series only has about (200 pages). This would determine which series I would read first.
My completion bar definitely varies in length from book to book, very similarly to the dots.
I just wish Amazon didn’t feel to change the length bar to New and Read labels for those books. Yes, I know I read it, I don’t need a label to see that. I would much rather see the length bar with “100%”. Same idea for New – I need to see how long it is, please.
Yeah, you’re right. I thought I’d remembered seeing it like that, and I was going to point it out in this post as that was the original idea for it, but when I went to compare the Paperwhite with the Voyage, which still has the old interface, the Paperwhite was showing the same bar length for books with different sized bars on the Voyage. It appears the bars do show some differences in size, but they seem to be much less accurate than the dot system for some reason.
For example, The Dark Tower 1 and 2 have the same size bar but the second book is nearly twice the length of the first book. I just happened to have a bunch of mid-length novels with the same size bar when I was checking, even though some of those books have hundreds of pages more than others. These same books have different dot lengths on the Voyage. It’s weird.