Dear BiblioBull – unopened v uncut

Dear Biblio Bull-

I have just come into possession of a 2-volume set with a lot of uncut pages. The set is of some value. I would like to read the book(s) first and then offer them for sale. This is kind of a dumb question, but for a kind of an all-thumbs guy, what is the best way to “cut” the pages, so they come out nice and even?



Dear Steve –

There is a bit of a difference between ‘uncut’ versus ‘unopened’ pages. The term ‘uncut’ would be used when the pages have a ragged edge, the text block has not been trimmed square. ‘Unopened’ is used when the page folds are still attached, so you cannot see what’s ‘inside’.

To open unopened pages, it is best NOT to use a knife of any sort, but this seems to be something people must learn for themselves. A very sharp knife or a serrated knife such as a grapefruit or steak knife will make a hack job of opening pages – cutting them unevenly or shredding the edges.

Oddly enough the best things to use are an index card, a business card or even a credit card. Take the card and run it at a slight angle against the inside of the fold, the pages will then be gently ‘pried’ apart.

Biblio Bull-

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