While the Wall Street youth and new millionaires flock to the Hamptons every summer, one long-standing tradition keeps the social elite connected year-round.
The Blue Book of the Hamptons, now in its 89th year, is likely the most expensive phone directory you’ll ever encounter. Shelved behind the counter of Bookhampton and sealed in crisp white packaging, this cloth-bound phone book is sold for a cool $80.
Within the blue binding is self-submitted information about the Hamptons elite, including contact information for any or all of the different homes owned by each family, children’s names, university affiliations, and club memberships. What you will not see is a plethora of ads, or the names of many of the celebrities known to spend their summers out East.
Although the method of accepting or rejecting applications for inclusion in the book is virtually unknown, the real mystery behind the book is not what’s within it, but who’s behind it. While many have their theories, the only public knowledge is the rusty Southampton P.O. box listed in the book, and a voicemail-only phone number. Regardless, year after year Bookhampton receives a phone call, and a nameless voice on the other end of the receiver simply says, “The books are ready.”