GIF of the fires made from a video by the Florida Fire Service (Twitter)

If you’re looking to get rid of old books, there are plenty of places to donate them. Unfortunately, a man in Florida didn’t know that and has destroyed between 10 to 15 homes in a fire that’s still raging in Nassau County.


The man hasn’t been identified, but his book burning has done a lot of damage. At this point the fire, roughly 20 miles west of Jacksonville, has torn through over 400 acres and is only 65 percent contained. Roughly 150 people in the area have been evacuated in what’s being described as the largest fire in the area since 1998.

“It wasn’t malicious, it wasn’t arson, it was an accident,” Annaleasa Winter, a spokesperson for the fire service, told Gizmodo. “But [the man who started the fire] was devastated. There’s a lot of heavy timber in that area and the wind took it.”


There have so far been no reports of injuries, though it’s unclear when people who have evacuated might be able to return to the area.

When asked if there were any political or religious reasons for the book burning, Winter said that it looks like the man who set the fire was just trying to get rid of things he didn’t want.

“He acknowledged that he was a source of the fire,” Winter said. “He’ll be held liable [for the fire containment efforts], which will be several thousand dollars. He’ll also be held liable civilly for homes and cars.”


There are tons of different places that will take your unwanted books, including prisons and Goodwill. If you’d like to donate to other charities, you can find ones that will even pick up from your location based on your ZIP code here.

Whatever you do with your old books, don’t set them on fire. If you really hate papers books that much, get a fucking Kindle.



Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog

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