Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-30-2005, 04:36 PM
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 3,475
Okay to cut uncut pages in old books?

Sometimes I'll encounter a book (usually an oldish one) with an uncut page or two. (FYI, multiple book pages are printed on a large sheet, then folded into a little bundle called a signature; all the signatures are bound together in sequence, then three of the four sides of the pile are trimmed to cut away the top, bottom and right-side folds. If a fold lands inside the trim edge it stays uncut.)

I just purchased a 100 year-old booklet (24 pages) with several uncut pages, making the booklet difficult (but not impossible) to read.

Is it a big no-no among bibliophiles or book collectors to cut uncut pages? Were books purposely made that way "back in the day," for customers to cut themselves? If so, would cutting my pages somehow tarnish the booklet's authenticity?
Old 03-30-2005, 05:24 PM
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,665
I suspect that some will feel that it lowers the value of the books. Otherwise, I don't see any problem with it.

I doubt if they "made it that way" -- uncut pages are almost c ertainly an artifact of the day when it wasn't easy to make reliable cut edges.

My copy of Burton's co9mplete "Arabian Nights" has lots of uncut pages. I've been cutting them as I go along. Otherwise, I can't read the damned books!
After he finished his work on conditioning dogs, Ivan Petrovich Pavlov ambitiously tried his theories on angels, eventually training a flock of them to go and get their wings from a rack when signaled with a bell.
Old 03-30-2005, 06:06 PM
Charter Member
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Montana, U.S.A.
Posts: 9,449
No, it wasn't intentional. In fact, it still happens from time to time, although it's gotten pretty rare.

If you have an extremely valuable collector's edition of a book, then I wouldn't mess with it at all. Since you're reading it and you didn't mention gloves or special storage vaults, I assume that's not the case.

If it's just a typical 100-year-old book--worth at most a couple of hundred dollars--go ahead and (carefully) cut the pages apart. It won't affect the value at all.
Old 03-30-2005, 06:23 PM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posts: 5,565
I worked for several years in a used book store. Generally, making any alteration in the original condition of a 'collectible' printed item will reduce its value. If you don't view this booklet as an investment, cut away. But if you believe it to be of value to collectors, and hope to profit from its sale, it's best to leave it in its original, uncut form.

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:58 AM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: sexualy active how works rising junior definition self taken nude whale farm random skype invites beagle ridgeback mix etrade commodities oliver sipple best myst game mlb condensed games rick dale fired dremel router tool girls crush bugs picasso first communion poe teletubbie neighbor cock funny halloween names climate ashland oregon large plywood sheets presidents boat smoke patchouli transitions xtractive costco permanent tanning bankers bourbon cvs glasses repair asian royals home donut maker uncola commercial vinegar source compression braking create a pornstar barney name weight of empty propane tank best sander for wood deck how to stop smelling like outside can you lay a freezer on its side roll your own pipe tobacco where were the beverly hillbillies from can a 9mm penetrate a human skull how long is a fathom in feet freezer efficiency full or empty can a satellite dish be used as a tv antenna at&t internet keeps dropping how to heat up chinese food are weber grills worth it rouge my knees meaning lord willing and the creek don't rise origin trailer trash girls names non tangle phone cord who said the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few how to remove gmail account from pc see you soon sayings does ibuprofen make you sleepy digging a grave at night colored golf balls walmart what kind of paint to use on baseboards and trim what is floating holiday i keep getting someone else's mail how to siphon gas out of a gas tank dyed beard too dark what happens if you eat moldy cream cheese 2003 ford focus key why are ssd so expensive can nerves grow back truck with independent rear suspension