August 2, 2016

Older readers may remember something called paper.

Back in the day, before they invented electricity and the internet and all that kind of thing, people used to use paper to make things called ‘books’ and ‘news papers’ and ‘moccasins’ [check that one]. These had lots of words printed in them.

In those days, when someone wanted to know something. they would look for a ‘book’ that looked as if it might have the information they were looking for printed in it somewhere. They would then hold the book in their hands, or rest it on a convenient flat surface, and ‘read’ the words in it – like you’re reading this, only in a totally rubbish and old fashioned type of way – to see if they could find the information they were looking for.

Much to Bankstone News’ astonishment, we learned this week that valuators Glasses, publishers of something called Glass’s Guide, are still printing these book things! Or at least they were until very recently.

Glasses are reputed to know the price of everything and the value of everything. But, in particular, they know the value of used cars. It is this specialist knowledge – dating back to the 1930s – that has made their Guide the ‘motor trade car valuations bible’.

The good news is that they have finally seen the light and are going to stop wasting perfectly good 30 year old spruces printing all that knowledge onto paper and are moving the whole shebang onto a specially designed app, the Glass’s Guide App, as they like to call it. Although fans of the wood pulp based version have one last opportunity to snap up one of these collectors editions, as the 925th edition, published this month, will still be available as a ‘book’.

“This is a momentous occasion,” overstates Glass man Rupert Pontins. In an end-of-an-era type reflection, he notes that the once-familiar roadside spectacle of paunchy middle aged blokes in shiny suits hunched over tattered copies of the trusty Guide will soon go the way of organ grinders, street hawkers and ha’penny jolly girls.

“The vast majority of our subscribers have been accessing our information through smartphones, tablets and PCs for some time,” Rupe admits ruefully, adding that Glasses have resolutely continued wasting trees “long after the point at which it was economic to do so.”

Almost as if taken aback by the shocking modernity of his own firm’s operations, he notes that “we have finally taken the decision to stop.”

So there you go, then: end of an era. Bet you’re glad we told you that.

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