David, David, David. Why would you suggest mutilating the books in such a barbaric fashion?...
mjp: Perversity on my part, sheer perversity. That, and an irrepressible urge to circumvent the constraints of the system. Call me rebel (or a jerk). But I like the idea. She could number them, sign them, insert a page explaining where the letters went and why. It could be quite a statement.
As for back alleys and such, I suppose such transactions do take place, and if the exchanges are for scholarly purposes, perhaps they are almost defensible under the "fair use" standard of copyright, but cutting the books up -- that could be done out in the open sunlight of broad day for all to see, rich and poor alike, etc., etc.