Jeff Pearlman

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The unwanted book

Best Buy doesn’t sell typewriters.

Atari stopped making the 2600 decades ago.

Yet why, oh why, do phone books still exist?

I arrived home today to find this humongous, plastic bag-wrapped antiquated collection of phone numbers and advertisements resting atop my lawn. I picked it up, took a quick photo (for here), unwrapped it and tossed it in the recycling bin.

At best, in 2012 the phone book is an OK doorstop. At worst—and this is the pattern that seems to apply most—it’s an enormous, inexcusable waste of paper and resources and materials. There is this thing, amazingly, called “The Information Superhighway” (some refer to it, merely, as the Internet). It contains a whole bunch of phone numbers! Like, a lot!

So, really, let’s all agree to move on and kill off the damned book.

It’s a relic. An annoying one at that.

  • Danny

    I think you can opt out here:

  • sanford

    I tend to agree with you, but there are still plenty of people that don’t have computers or smart phones. My mother is 89. She had a AOL account for the last ten years or so. She hardly ever used her computer. Even I use the phone book once in a while.

  • jmw

    Did you at least check out the coupons?
    Lots of folks like the phone book.

  • Bobby Fetter

    It’s still good for small local businesses. I agree that the internet is much faster and easier and the book is enormous, but YOU are controlling what you look up in it, not Google.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life