Verizon 2014 phone book arrives, and it's tiny
This week, the yearly phone book arrived, and it's the thinnest one I've ever seen. When I thumbed through it, almost every listing was for a business. Yes, there were residential listings, but damned few of them.
I'm surprised any phone company these days still prints a phone book. It does not surprise me that almost all the listings are for businesses, as they still do spend money on phone book advertising; that's the only reason the book still exists.
Most of the ads in the book are geared towards seniors (meaning people 65 and up) because they're pretty much the only people left who use the phone book these days:
I remember the days when phone books were freakin' huge. In fact, in the first apartment in Tampa Florida I had back in the mid-2000s, the annual phone book delivered was, well, phone-book-sized, as in this huge, hulking thing. Not anymore.
On the front cover is also this:
This tells me Verizon considers printing the phone book a genuine burden, and they would be more than happy to not send it to you. This is the first time I've seen an opt-out notice like this on a phone book.
Is this the last phone book I'll receive?
Maybe not the last, but they're probably close to being phased out completely. My guess is they'll be completely out-of-print by 2020, if not sooner.
As long-time readers of my blog know, I use Tracfone. Specifically, a Samsung S425G. Great little phone. It's an older slider QWERTY thumb pad, can do 6 hours talk time and a whopping 12.5 hours standby time on a single charge. I usually only have to charge it once a week (try that with your smartphone).
Whenever I want to look up a phone number, I usually use Google Maps. I don't even remember the last time I used a phone book to look up a number.
If I'm in desperate need to look up a phone number, I can use my Garmin 40LM for that, as many business listings do contain phone numbers.
If I'm in really desperate need to look up a number and am not near a computer, I'll just dial 4-1-1 on my Tracfone and not think twice about it. Yeah, it eats up a few minute units on the phone to do that, but I get the information fast and don't have to find a phone book.
I think the only time I'd ever want a phone book now is as a collector's item. You can find a few on eBay from time to time.
Tip: If you have some older, thick phone books from the 1990s or earlier, list them on eBay. Make sure to list the areas served along with the area codes. Chances are pretty good you'll sell them if they're in good shape. People can and do collect them.
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