Bit of Fun

Who Remembers The Phone Book?

Do you ever wake up in the morning with a completely random thought in your head? This morning I had a thought that I just couldn’t shake off. It came with feelings of nostalgia, sadness and happiness…what ever happened to the BT Phone Book?!

A quick Google search revealed that they do actually still exist. Oh…well, we don’t have one! WHY DON’T I HAVE ONE?! When was the last time we actually received one?

I mention the feeling of nostalgia when I think back to the Phone Book. I have really fond memories of such an iconic piece of British history. My mind also sprung back to the days of the Yellow Pages. I cannot be alone with these fond memories:

  • That advert where the kids kiss stood on the Yellow Pages.

  • Trying to tear a Phone Book in half, to prove how strong I was… I think I can remember seeing someone do this on the Royal Variety Show once, but I cannot find proof of this anywhere.
  • Waiting until the new Phone Book arrived, flicking through the pages finding your family, friends and searching for comical surnames. Mr A Cock, Mrs. B Fluff, Mr. O D’eath.
  • Before mobile phones we were forced to flick through any form of reading material while on the toilet. Phone Books, labels on bubble bath bottles and catalogues. Now we just scroll through Facebook or play Candy Crush. I remember my Nan’s Littlewoods catalogue arriving in the post. I used to fold the pages over, highlighting the clothes that I dreamed of wearing when I was a grown-up.

Sadness also comes over me when I think back to the Phone Book. Its sadness mixed with a little relief. I am sad for all of the paper resources and energy that was used during the creations of these millions of books. Not many of them still exist today, other than as museum artifacts to jog the memories of visitors. They either ended up in landfill, or hopefully recycled. As much as I despise modern technology (an odd thing to say from a blogger!) I do think that it’s wonderful that we can now effectively have a zero-waste telephone book… in the form of the internet!

No longer do I need to flick through the Phone Book for long periods of time when I need to find the John Lewis customer services, I don’t need to take the bus to town to visit the shop itself, I can just have a quick look online!

We have every telephone number, email, address and names of businesses at the tips of our fingers. The majority of people use social media to now stay in touch, so rarely do we call each other on landlines.

The paper telephone book has been replaced by internet searches. There are specific websites created that work the same as a telephone book, making searches for customer service numbers easier than ever. I suppose we can only thank modern technology for that!

What fond memories do you have of the BT Phone Book or the Yellow Pages? Do you still have one in your home? Let me know in the comments!







*This post contains a collaboration / paid link.

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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