Thread Tools
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: 41,810
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

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 11:42 PM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: hermaphrodite actress 1800gotjunk cost estimator jim myers mci demised space vietnamese gold bracelets worst writers tontine legality cunt hair measurement trim force opie definition the soup lou rice garbage disposal airplane nudity shits and grins parking wars fake bug zapper flies rock anthem watering concrete fancy feast reviews acetylene light hakujin meaning nutmeg dealer hegel for dummies tin foil window blue collar names no 1 pencils clean polyurethane brush private lingerie modeling white trash blonde moo m situ pronunciation eating chicken cartilage arnold height how to make hamburger helper without milk 2002 ford taurus egr valve amc 3d glasses fit over glasses how do people eat glass girls fight much dirtier than boys removing rusted toilet seat bolts super sport vs sport 24 hour how hot are pizza ovens does kikkoman have msg menards treated lumber prices could bruce lee beat brock lesnar how to get in and out of a kayak does grass grow at night rental car door ding old uhaul trailer for sale you can t go home again the ritual of chud glass you can see out but not in superb choice battery review whats a good side dish for meatloaf is it legal to live in a commercial building what is the only musical instrument played exclusively with the left hand? what does csa mean in movies no main breaker in service panel judge dee and the monastery murders how far is a click military distance how to remove creases from pants american world war 2 helmet how heavy is a cubic inch of osmium usps said they delivered package but didn't how much do black walnut trees sell for can neosporin be used in nose