Someone tossed a phone book on the stoop yesterday. When I picked it up, I thought at first it was just some bit of litter that had been blown down the street: It was small and somehow forlorn, like a country cousin whose patched jeans gave away a less-affluent lifestyle.
It was physically wizened, shrunken compared to other times. The yellow pages (business advertising) came up front. The people and their addresses, in a much smaller section, came at the end.
When I grew up, the phone book had heft and importance. There were no cell phones and land lines, with their decent fidelity of sound, were the mode of connection.
Now, increasingly, everyone is 'connected' to everyone else and the connections of yore dribble away into the realm of all-saddle-and-no-horse. The phone book heads for obscurity and the disconnects ascend.