It’s thrilling to discover a book with uncut pages. I’m often tempted to leave the book as is, so virginal, but for the rather serious problem that I need to read it, and cutting, therefore, is necessary.

My most recently acquired book, Molière by Brander Matthews, is uncut. It was only published in 1910, which amazes me. A book with uncut pages seems somehow prehistoric to me, a relic of an age long gone. But of course, it’s simply that a great number of changes have taken place in the last century. I’m reading the delightful novel House of Mirth by Edith Warton, and once, on a train, the main character Lily sets to uncutting the pages of a novel, and later — presumably because she was interrupted in her task (it is time-consuming), a “uncut book” is on her bedside table.


And now, to cutting the pages. I’m wondering if Lily carried a cutting implement with her in her bag, and what that implement might have been. Certainly, it wouldn’t have passed security.