Originally Posted by Elfwreck
Most copy shops have the (big scary) industrial-sized paper cutters that go through the whole book at once; they charge a dollar or so per book to use it. (Probably require a staff member to operate it.) If you have a friend in a shop, you might be able to get them to cut books for free when they're not busy.
If you get access to one of those, pick up a few throwaway books from thrift stores to practice cutting the spines off without cropping into the words.
I've never tried it because I use a camera so that I don't need to destroy the books, but couldn't you just heat the glue up with an iron and then pull the pages off?