I picked up MacBeth at the horrible Sony eBook Store on a whim. As soon as I opened the book, I noticed something: there were no line numbers.

It’s a flaw so simple and glaring, I thought it must be just another thing that Sony got wrong like, well, everything else.

But after finding copies from Project Gutenberg and Manybooks.net, it’s pervasive; there aren’t any Shakespeare e-editions with line numbers. Not even my trusty friend the Seattle Public Library has a copy.

This is relatively baffling. The Sony Store I can understand: Sony clearly couldn’t care less about books, they just want money. But Project Gutenberg is a labor of love, and I don’t know how someone who loves books has gone through life without writing a paper about Shakespeare.

I’m no Shakespeare expert, but I still remember the formatting: V.iii 13-20 (Act 5.scene 3  lines 13-20). Without line numbers it becomes a significant chore to cite quotations, which makes writing Shakespeare papers far too laborious to use an ereader. That’s a shame.

This will have to change before I can become entirely paperless. Luckily, that’s still a ways off.