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Maven Moment: Mom’s Old Address Book

Not so long ago, almost every household had an address book. In our house, we kept one right by the phone (it was a landline, of course). We always knew where to find it when we needed to call a friend or mail birthday or holiday cards.

Mom’s address book was a bound book with a padded cover. The alphabetized pages made it easy to find a phone number and address and there was enough room in the book to write a person’s new contact information if they moved.

Even though most everyone keeps contact information on their cellphone today, I still love to use Mom’s old address book. Many of her contacts are still useful to me and there is plenty of room for me to add new contacts. I really like the designated “D” page for all of my doctors and there’s a spot for my work supervisor’s number on the inside cover.

When I look up an address or phone number, I enjoy seeing Mom’s distinct European handwriting on the pages. But in addition to sentimental reasons for keeping Mom’s book, I have practical reasons, too. If I lose or change my cellphone or the battery dies, that book is a valuable reference for my friends, family, and other contacts.

Luckily, Mom’s address book is still in good shape, so I’ll keep using it for the foreseeable future. But if I had to dispose of it, I’d want to keep it out of the landfill. Since it is a bound book, it cannot be recycled curbside, but I could shred and recycle the pages. There are also all kinds of reuse projects for old books. I especially like the idea of using the pages as part of a decoupage project.

I think it’s worthwhile to recycle or reuse at least parts of an item if not the whole thing. It all helps.

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