A Phone Book… Really?

A phonebook? Really?
The 2013 Hawaiian Telecom phonebook.
A phone book? Really? It was deposited on the lanai this weekend. It sat there for a while before we even deigned to pick it up. In this day of websites and smart phones why does a phone book still get printed. How many people actually make any use of a phone book? Can the huge amount of energy and paper used to print and distribute a phone book actually be justified? Do the advertisers who pay for the publication reasonably expect a payback?

I am old enough to remember when a phone book was actually useful. It was the way to locate businesses and the phone numbers of friends. That was a long time ago. At this point I can not remember when I last opened a phone book to accomplish anything useful, an internet search is faster and more informative. A search provides so much more than a phone number…. Business hours, a map to the location with directions if needed, reviews and more. Not to mention that the information is up to date, not printed once a year, a business can update their website as details change. Need to see tonight’s menu?

Phone books are an anachronism from another time, one that belongs in the past. As with any business there is a certain inertia, they will not die quickly. While it does appear that the white pages have properly died, someone needs to put a stake into the yellow pages.

For this household? It is straight into the recycle bin with the book. Unused, unlamented, existing only long enough to inspire a rant.