Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Are Phone Books Passé?

"Pearls Before Swine" by Stephen Pastis
Phone books used to be useful—very useful. They were the compendium of people who lived within reach … down the hall, next door, across the street, across town, in other neighborhoods.

Phone books listed all the shops, stores, offices, services, clubs and organizations to be found in your general area.

Phone books were heavy. Good for pressing leaves and flowers and soaked-off postage stamps (is the hobbyist in me peeking forth?).

The best thing? They contain addresses and phone numbers, and correct spellings of names.

A couple of weeks ago, a phone book company dropped off our own personal copy (LOL) of the “YellowBook.” I’m not sure who put this one out, there seemed to be no affiliation with the “Yellow Pages” or the local phone company.

I do know that private companies put out their own books, making them profitable by selling ads in the book. I’ve designed and bought ads in many of them for my own clients. The ads were effective, bringing in customers that are hard to identify and/or reach otherwise.

For me, a Yellow Pages listing was a waste of time. I did get a free listing, because every business got one. But in my many years of being in the book, I got only one potential client. And it just didn’t work out.

So we have this YellowBook that’s now sitting unused (as usual) on a shelf in our kitchen cupboard. If I need a number or address or business referral, I just hop on my iPad (previously my computer) and do a quick Google search. 

I can’t remember the last time I used the phone book or yellow pages. My wife, on the other hand, uses them occasionally, but has started asking me to look it up for her because the type is so small. Phone book no, iPad yes!

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