1.5 min readBy Published On: December 19th, 2021Categories: Features4 Comments on Great news – the new phone book is here!

How is this still a thing?

Yesterday, I walked out my front door and discovered sitting on my stoop, a plastic bag containing two new phone books.  Not one, but two.  Apparently, they are still in print.  Who is still using the phone book?  Doesn’t everyone in the world have a smart phone that they can easily google or better yet, ask Siri for a phone number, address or best Italian restaurant in a 10 mile radius?  It’s 2020. Seems very wasteful right?

So why are they still in print and getting delivered?

Well, some regulations have been attempted to phase out the yellow pages, but many companies have fought against them – usually out of self-interest. Phone books are full of ads which make these companies money. In the city of Boston, this company’s name is Dex Media.  Even though phone book revenues are starting to dwindle, companies still make a decent amount of money. Ironically, ad rates are usually calculated on the number of phone books distributed, not people actually using the phonebook.  (Hmmm….sounds similar to the stacks of local papers you see collecting dust waiting for the recycle bin.)

Back in 2010, Seattle passed the first ordinance requiring phonebook companies to let residents opt out of getting the yellow pages.  The company would also receive a penalty for each unwanted phone book delivered.

When is Massachusetts gonna do that? If you don’t want to get the phone book, you can opt out by visiting here!  I have a feeling that just like “Do Not Call” lists, the phone book will be landing on our stoops again next year.

For now, do what everyone in the neighborhood will be doing, throwing it the recycling bin.  Unless maybe some people save them for other reasons…  Everyone knows, phone books don’t leave bruises.


  1. Tommy Carter December 15, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Pete, I hear what you are saying. But with the advent of the internet the masters of the digital age can not come up with a product that has the residual effect of the printed ad.

    You will hear it all the time especially in my industry that email campaigns are cheap. And they are, but do they get equal or greater results than printed ads? Not so much. 

    In general we(internet users)  have the advantage of filtering out the digital ads. I tell my clients that if it was not for Viagra, Low Mortgages, Size Enhancers, and some anonymous nympho that I went to high school with and she wants to hook up tonight of all nights: then I would not get many emails at all.

    But I do get use of those pizza coupons that come in the mail all the time.

  2. jackiebreen December 17, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Not everyone uses a computer or other wireless device.  There are still those that prefer to read a book whether it be the yellow pages or the latest novel. 


  3. Molly December 4, 2013 at 11:58 pm
    Will not have the telephone books. The Newbies will leave them piled up on their stairs with Boston Homes and South Boston Today.
  4. Susan Gailunas December 6, 2013 at 2:56 am

    Peter, your father used the new phone book the very day it arrived!  And then he used the “conventional phone” to make the call.  He does own a cell phone (not a smart phone) but you may not know that because he seldom takes it with him.  And when he does take it, I have to remind him to turn it on. 

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