Monday, September 15, 2008

"The new phone book is here!"

Few of us ever got as excited as Steve Martin's character did in The Jerk at the arrival of the new phone book (here is the scene recreated in the Sims!?).

That said, for years we have dutifully brought in the new phone book and recycled out the old one.

Not this year. This year, I recycled it the day it arrived.

What's the point in keeping it? We never use it.

How much longer will they keep printing them? If I need a number, I can go online and get it easier and quicker. Not at a computer? Google's free service (1-800-GOOG-411) is just as good as the "411 and more" service provided by my cellphone carrier - and it is free.

When is the last time you actually saw a print encyclopedia? (don't count garage sales!). An essential part of every book report I ever did, the encyclopedia was the guilty purchase of middle-class parents in the '60s and '70s ("You want you child do be smart, don't you Mrs. Jones?"). This staple of my childhood is nowhere to be found today...

How long 'til phone books are in the same boat?

(One interesting sidenote - in our neighborhood, by my count by far the #1 advertisers in the Yellowpages are attorneys who handle personal injury cases.... what does that say about the current demos of phone books? Or at least my part of the world?)

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