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Book Nook: The Phone Book-the Curious History of the Book That Everyone Uses But No One Reads, Ammon

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Ammon Shea returns to the Book Nook for a third interview. On his initial visit Shea discussed "Reading the OED," a memoir recounting his marvelous dictionary marathon. Fueled by his love of language and massive volumes of espresso, Shea read the entire unabridged Oxford English Dictionary over the course of one year.

Shea returned to the program a year ago to talk about the new Oxford Historical Thesaurus. Shea reads books that very few ordinary readers are likely to consider. His latest project is a study of phone books. 90% of Americans are using cell phones. Has that made telephone directories obsolete? Shea doesn't think so.

In this interview Shea delves in to some fascinating phone book lore. Did you know that we say "Hello" because phone books instructed early telephone users to do so? Shea's investigations of the once ubiquitous phone book led him to study Senate filibusters and phone book rippers.

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Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them. Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.