Cutting up old books

Did I say ‘up’? I meant ‘open’. Bought a couple of candidates for everybody’s favourite free e-book repository. It turns out the two of them had never been read. I know this because the pages were still stuck together, and I had to cut them open with a pocket knife. One was from 1880, the other from 1897.

It’s not the first time I discover books in that state, but I still think it is weird. My guess is that these books have been in the inventories of book seller after book seller for well over 100 years, going from new to unsellable to antique to, oh no, unsellable after all. (Us Dutch have a word for products that overstay their welcome in a store’s inventory: winkeldochter, lit. shop daughter. The Germans say Ladenhüter, lit. shop guard.)

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