Nobody asked for them. They just print them up and hand them out.
615 million phone books are printed every year. This is a filthy waste of resources: printing, delivery, landfill.
Let’s end this already.
At the very least, phone books should only be given to people who request them. MN, WA, and HI are making it illegal to litter a city with hundreds of thousands of unrequested books. A proposed bill in CA to do the same was defeated by lobbyists from the Yellow Pages industry association.
Phone books are spam. Get involved.