Category Archives: telephone directories

Books v. gumshoes

Dalrymple explains that if there is one thing he has learnt in life, it is never to go anywhere without a book to read.

But one time, when he found himself stuck at an hotel in Los Angeles, he discovered that for some reason he had brought no book with him. So he started reading the telephone directory, the yellow pages. First he looked up bookshops, and there were just a very few entries, taking up less than a quarter of a page; then he looked up private detectives, and there were at least 50 pages of them.

The need to read

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 09.09.15Dalrymple writes that, like W. Somerset Maugham,

I would rather read a railway timetable than nothing at all.

On occasion,

I have even resorted to telephone directories, in the days when they still existed, and found them to be not without interest.

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From a 1910 Bradshaw

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How to use the apparatus

How to use the apparatus