Industrial-scale book destruction is going on at the British Library, possibly the most prestigious library in the world (you can tell because it's British). Recent book-pulping scandals have hit the University of New South Wales in Australia, as well as several other institutions. Hell, when Borders bookstores went belly-up earlier this year, they decided to destroy all the unsold books instead of donate them.
The hobos would have just traded them in for books about drugs anyway.
And no, I'm not just talking about duplicates and old TV Guides, either. Imagine holding a beautiful, dusty, illustrated volume of Shakespeare printed in the 1700s, a calligraphic message from its long-dead owner inscribed on the inside cover, and throwing it straight in the trash. I've been there, more than once. I could have kept it and maybe gotten a few hundred dollars for it on eBay, if my supervisor wasn't watching with specific orders to prevent me from doing that.
"Look, this isn't the Dead Sea, and I'm not interested in its scrolls. Throw them away."