I’m just about to buy Ray Kurzweil’s book The Singularity is Near, partly out of pure curiosity and partly because it may be relevant to something I’m thinking about for book #2. So I was pondering whether I should buy the printed version or the ebook, when I got stumped by the following dilemma:
If I were to buy the ebook and then want to cite passages from it in something I subsequently write, how would I do so? Ebooks, of course, don’t really have page numbers. The number of pages in your ebook basically depends on what size font you choose for your ereader – if the type is bigger, you’ll have more pages; if it’s smaller, there’ll be less.
So how the heck does one quote from an ebook? I feel it’s important to properly cite your sources, both to give proper credit to the originator of the information or thought and to shore up your own credibility. But an ebook seems to make that hard, if not impossible to do because you can’t just cite the document as a whole, you have to be specific. Or is this specificity going to be an unfortunate casualty of the ebook movement?
Citing from a website isn’t a problem because you just include the URL, but does anyone have any ideas as to how a writer might get around this particular issue? I’d love to hear them, if so.