ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The end of an era is coming to Maryland.

Soon, the delivery of the White Pages telephone directories will stop and, as Mike Schuh reports, many won’t miss them at all.

Within a year of the telephone’s invention, the first telephone books came out.  For most of those 133 years, the White Pages were indispensable. 

But now, many people we spoke with can’t even remember when they last used a telephone book.

“I don’t remember,” said Nicholas Davenport.

“More than five years ago,” said Tiffany Hall.

“I hate these books.  They’re heavy; they show up on the porch and I say, `Oh no, not again,'” said Jeannie Marcov.

That’s why Verizon asked the state to stop delivering them.  The state said no, but then the legislature stepped in.  The House and Senate voted to kill mandatory delivery of the White Pages. 

But some do still use them.  Troy Sedgewick says he opened one just Tuesday morning.

“I’m an old-fashioned kind of guy,” Sedgewick said.

Both the Senate and House bills allowing the phone company to stop distribution have passed nearly unanimously.  Now their action goes to the governor for his signature.  A spokesman says the governor will sign that legislation into law.

Comments (30)
  1. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    Good, I’m tired of putting them from my doorstep to the curb for the trash. Calls to the directory distributors have gone unanswered & ignored. Now their business can go the same way, to the curb.

  2. Patricia Gabriel says:

    i personally don’t think that is such a good idea, because then you will have those certain days when the power will go out or the cable will cut out for a few days and then you won’t have any way to look up somebody or some company that you have never been to.

    1. no rights says:

      Patricia, I can help you with the first dilemma about calling a company should your power or cable go out, simply look on the bill you will find the phone number, as for the second problem we have to pay the phone company an additional $1.25 for each directory assistant call which is what we will be forced to do. Just another way for them to get extra money from us, I guess charging us for the monthly phone bill isn’t enough for them, greed prevails, anyway they can get it they will.

      1. Tony says:

        Not to be a party pooper, but if the power goes out, do you really expect your phone to work?

      2. Rae says:

        If you have a cell phone, you can send a text to google to look for a number. No charge for 411 information!

      3. BlueClaw says:

        @Tony – Phone lines and power lines are separate. If my power goes out, my phone line still works. Only the wireless handsets won’t work. If you have regular phone service to your house, always have a cell phone or a cheap wired phone somewhere as a backup. The phone lines provide enough power to use a wired phone.

      4. JQP says:

        @blue claw: do you actually have a phone that doesn’t require electricity??

      5. DC says:

        @JCP – we have cordless phones, but we ALWAYS keep a wired phone somewhere that doesn’t require electricity.

        @Rae – the Google 411 is a great idea as long as the service isn’t down.

    2. laura says:

      Its just the white pages Patricia the book that has neighbors family and friends phone numbers in it. They will still keep the yellow pages which is the bussiness books with companies and stuff in that one

  3. petfriend says:

    Long overdue in my opinion. Almost all of them just go directly into the trash or to recycling anyway. Nice idea if they would offer them to those who request them only. That way everyone wins. Now if we could just stop all the circulars and free papers that get dropped on our lawns or doorsteps even after we ask them to be stopped.

    1. c. clagett says:

      Good! We have 13 mail boxes in front of our house and they dump 13 phone books out there and most people don’t take so we have to recycle them, or if the get wet we throw them away. I think it should be against the law to throw unwanted phone books by the road, it is littering.

    2. laura says:

      Yes everyday i come come and each week i clean atleast 13 papers off my porch and all the fliers that come in with the mail is just as bad

  4. Some dude says:

    It’s just the residential white pages….not the yellow pages or business pages

  5. Valentine says:

    I do not care what they do with the telephone book I guess I will keep this last one that they sent in case they pass the bill to opt them out. What I will never do again is dial information for them to charge $1.50 for a wrong mumber only for you to call them back to recharge you again for another wrong number.

  6. ratm33 says:

    Well lets see if the money they save from not having to do this will show up by my bill being lowered. Dont think I will.

  7. Deneen says:

    I am happy they are stopping. With the internet and free directory assistance (800) 373-3411, we don’t need them. Except, of course, to let the kids make Christmas trees out of them, or use the torn out pages to pack fragile items.

  8. whatnow says:

    I don’t use the white pages but I use the yellow pages all the time. And to Tony, when the power goes out if you have a corded phone, you can still use the phone. They actually recommend that everyone keep a cheap corded phone in their closet for those emergencies. Also, if you have a cell phone, if your power is out and your cell phone is charged, you can call on that. Oh, and if you have Verizon Fios and your power goes out, your phone line will still work for 8 hours because of the battery back up even if you only have a cordless phone. So keep BGE’s number handy, you can still reach them even if your power is out!

  9. Trish says:

    It’s about time. the printing was getting too small to read for most people. I think Verizon should have been responsible for recycling the old phone books each year. Just like computer companies, you give out a new book take back the old book.

  10. susan says:

    I for one will be sad to see them go. There is still a lot of info. that is in there. Sometimes 411 cannot find it if I call them, but it is in the books. You are right Valentine, I will keep this set that I just got as a souvenir.

  11. Crystal Moretti says:

    I guess we should put one of thee up so when our kids grow up we can say this is how we found #’s

  12. Darlene says:

    Sorry to see them go. I like the idea to recycle them. Not everyone has computers or cell phones yet alone know how to text. Lets not get so modern that we forget about our senior citizens, and others that can’t afford a computer or cell phone and needs the phone books. Should allow a free delivery of one if needed.

  13. Sam says:

    Well now that Verizon will save the cost of printing and deliverers of the white pages they can give us free 411 or the Governor should not sign the bill.

  14. Tony P says:

    I still ues mine sometimes. Will they still be available if I want one?

  15. Somebody says:

    Do people these days still have Home phones ????? With the invention of the internet and smart phones these things are obsolete. I just throw two books away the other day and I don’t have a house phone. Go figure.

  16. whatnow says:

    Everyone I know still has a house phone. When there is an emergency, like September 11, 2001, in the immediate area, the cell phones didn’t work. The good old landlines did. Personally, I don’t have a cell phone. I know I may regret it someday if my car breaks down, but I am in the public a lot and the number of people yammering away with all their personal stuff for everyone to hear and then running into the back of people when they slow down to start texting gets on my nerves. Besides I don’t want people bothering me all the time. I like quiet time.

  17. roneida says:

    Wait until you try to find the phone numbers of people that only have a cell phone. I don’t know any way to do that ..does anyone??? only land phones are listed in the directiry and associated with an address. How would cell phone companies ID their customers??

  18. Jammy Ross says:

    I dont think its a good idea to stop with the phone book due to that when you call 411 for a listing and they tell you that they dont have a number listed for that…i had that done to many times and i think it is a wrong move for them to stop the phone book

  19. stephanie bray says:

    what about seniors who don’t have computers or the money to pay for calling information. My mother is one who would not own a computer. I say they should ask people when they get their bills if they want a directory and give them one. also the phone books have numbers that the computers don’t have in their white pages. I say keep them for the people who would want them.

  20. robert Williams says:

    If someone has an Annapolis Area phone book they no longer want, please let me know.I moved to North Carolina and forgot my copy. As a lifelong Annapolis resident, I still need the book to call people I have forgotten numbers and the yellow pages for businesses for when I return to Marytland.
    Send me an email, let me know if you have one and I will send you $ for POSTAGE so you can send me one. PLEASE. THANKS!!!
    Robert Williams

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