Yellow Pages telephone directory

Yellow Pages telephone directory (Ian Waldie / Getty Images)

Dex, one of Chicago's largest phone book distributors, expects to deliver 2.2 million phone books to Chicago residents in 2014. To get an idea of just how many that is, RedEye used its office phone book -- an April 2013 Dex Yellow Pages for the 312, 773 and 872 area codes -- and this year's Dex distribution to do some math. While not completely scientific, here's an idea of the massive phone book expanse in Chicago.


  • There would be a total of 1,793,000,000 pages.
  • If stacked on top of one another, they would reach to 34.72 miles high. That's into the mesosphere, where jet powered planes can't fly.
  • You could stack the Willis Tower on top of itself 126 times before it would eclipse the height of the city's stacked phone books.
  • Placed single-file lengthwise, the phone books would stretch 306 miles. That's even farther than the driving distance from Chicago to Louisville, Ky., via I-65.
  • Chicago's Cloud Gate (the Bean) weighs about 220,000 pounds. With a weight of 1.2 pounds each, the phone books equal exactly 12 Cloud Gates.