The unclaimed phonebooks piling up in the lobby of Stefano Belardini’s apartment building spell trouble for Italian directory publisher Seat Pagine Gialle SpA: They show advertisers that few people use them.
“I haven’t opened a phonebook in years,” said Belardini, a 39-year-old Rome-based lawyer. “The best use I put them to is as door stoppers or footrests.”
I think I’ve used a phone book twice in the past year.* One of those times, I was looking up something in the white pages and, despite my $300.00 bifocals, I had to get a magnifying glass to read the listings. When I need a phone number, I tend to look it up on the internet because the computer is right there in front of me and because I can, like, you know, actually read the numbers.
Back in the olden days, the phone book was service provided by the telephone company. Then came deregulation and now I get two phone books each cycle, sometimes three, one of wastes away in a drawer until the cycle repeats itself while the others head directly into the recycling bin.
Also, I’m old. I already know who I’m going to call.