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Phone Book: A Relic of the Past?

Does anyone use a Phone book anymore?

When was the last time you used a telephone book or the Yellow pages? Do you even know where you might find a phone book in your home? Many people don't know and a number of people don't use phone books any longer in this digital age. It seems that phone books have limited relevance and appeal for most people.

Personally, I still use the phone book on occasion. I use it to find landscapers, automotive repair, firewood, etc. I know I could do that online but I actually find that I can do it faster with the phone book. But I'm still a little bit "old school" so I like to hold on to some traditions.

Many communities are finding that phone books are a bit of a  liability. I mean, they just appear on our doorsteps, we don't ask for them; and then most of them get thrown away and overwhelm landfills, not to mention that they waste resources and are not environmentally friendly. Well, I get that. But I still like having a phone book around. Maybe there can be a system set up whereby we request a phone book if we want one and those who don't won't be burdened with them.

The other negative about phone books is that anyone can advertise in them and when you, say, look for a good plumber, you are never quite sure IF you are getting a good plumber. Online, thanks to sites and services like Yelp, Angie's List and other feedback sites, one can get the opinions of others thrown into the mix when choosing a service or a professional. In that regard, I try not to rely on blind selection. I try to use people who have been recommended by friends and family. But when I need to find someone or something that will fix or help or improve my life, I will try a phone book first.

I seriously doubt that by the time she's a teenager, my three month old granddaughter will even know what a telephone book is. (Remember how quickly public phones and phone booths disappeared?) So maybe this entire discussion of the relevance of phone books is academic. But phone books are like a senile pet dog...they may not always get it right or know what they're doing, but they're kind of nice to have around.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Denise B. October 22, 2012 at 02:46 AM
I have placed all of our retail yellow book advertising for years. 2012 will be our last year as we transition to digital advertising. Now you need to spend the dollars on getting your business on the first google page. It is truly the end of an era for the printed phone books. It does seem a bit strange, but everyone uses their smart phones now. Not that it is any less expensive to move from one medium to the other.
MellowMaverick October 22, 2012 at 04:03 PM
I think the printed word on paper in all forms,sadly, is soon to be no more. I guess the good news is that it saves trees!

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