The yellow pages are lying on the stoop. What am I supposed to do with it?
 I look up addresses and phone numbers online. I check out services and goods through social media and bulletin boards. I consult yelp.   
Actually, I’m not even talking about the yellow pages. What landed at my front door is the yellow book and it’s about 1/4 the size of what the yellow pages used to be. It’s hardly big enough to press flowers.
I ought to deposit the yellow book directly into the recycling bin, but for some no-good reason at all, I feel sorry for this vestigial, pointless pile of paper.
I suppose I’ll shelve it near the atlases, where it will sit, untouched, for the next twelve months. Until the next one appears, unwanted, next year. 


  1. Elliot Talenfeld on December 31, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    My wife and I have been having a similar discussion as we’ve conducted a year-end inventory of our respective cabinets, closets, and piles of accumulated miscellany. While perusing one of her piles, it struck me how self-evident and effortless the “what to toss” conundrum would be (as to Her items) if it was up to Me. So I proposed we give each other reciprocal powers of attorney, to go through the other’s stuff and create some space for whatever new treasures may present themselves in the coming year.

    So far, neither of us has signed on the dotted line. Maybe at the stroke of midnight, after the kiss!

  2. Elliot Talenfeld on December 31, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    My wife and I have been having a similar discussion as we’ve gone through our year-end inventory of closets, drawers and unkempt miscellany. While perusing one of her piles, it occurred to me that what needed discarding there seemed effortlessly self-evident (even as I was struggling to get rid of a single item from my own). So I proposed we exchange powers of attorney, making my piles her responsibility, and vice versa.

    So far, neither one of us has signed off, but maybe at midnight . . . after the kiss!

  3. Sue on January 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    We always recycle the phone books as soon as they show up at the door. We can’t seem to stop them, and don’t want to store them, so they go directly to the back of the car for a stop at the bin. Imagine our surprise when we had nothing to boost the five year old granddaughter at the Thanksgiving dinner table – not a phone book in the house! I guess they do have some use, after all.

  4. femail doc on January 1, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I feel responsible for magazines, duty-bound to read them but more likely to stack them everywhere in lieu of dispensing with the task. But sorry for phone books? At least you don’t save them past one year…

  5. Claire Medol Hyman on January 2, 2012 at 1:16 am

    My new yellow pages and old have more use to me than some of my many books. As I cull books from 25 linear feet of 8′ tall bookshelves, I gripe struggle and decide on what to keep and what to discard. Yes, this has the rhythm of our Jewish holiday.

    While my G-dly decisions are made on future place for books on Algebra to Zebras several years’ old Yellow Phone Books are in current function tightly bound with colorful duct tape. Several blobs of disguised books now fuzzy with pet fur sit at front of my kitchen chair, under my computer desk, and near my porch rocker.

    I’ve lost inches in height, lost vision to cataracts making phone book small gray print on grayish paper useless in the first place, but the sheer volume of the Yellow Pages have value.

    Meanwhile could your first responder , Eliot, advise me on his success having his wife make decisions. Should I have another decide on which books I keep, where to shelf them , who to gift the most valued giveaways? Will the results be as satisfying as my use of the Yellow Pages?

  6. Aimee on January 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    This has nothing at all to do with your post and I apologize but a) big fan and b) quick question– did you have a specific translation of the Bible you pulled from when researching for _The Red Tent_? I am in a King James Bible grad course and would love you use your text for my final seminar paper but I can’t figure out if it’s a fair project since I’m not sure which translation you used in your writing of the novel.

  7. Anita Diamant on January 25, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    For those of you who are asking direct questions, please go thru my website, where you will find a “contact me” button.

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