I just bought one of those turntables with a USB port. It didn't come with any softyware (because of copyright issues) but pointed me at public domain software (I don't remeber the name offhand) That worked well. I then recorded every LP and using the software I attempted to smooth out some of the pops and crackle sometimes wityh more success than others.
It was quite an experience listening to every cut of music that I had, and reflecting on quite how bad some of it was. Also brought back memories and there were even cuts I don't ever remember hearing before.
"This was after I had converted all my 60s/70s music on LPs to MP3 files, but that is a story for another day", I hope that day come soon I am planning to do the same with my father's collection, so could be nice have some ideas.
Have you consider to put a torrent of this collection?, with the size of the hard drives and the speed of inernet this days probably some people will like to share this collection.
I am glad that some people take the time and effort to preserve this kind of info, thank you.
You could get the spine cut off at a book binder place. In getting my thesis bound, they first glued on the spine, then used a saw to make all the edges of the pages be perfectly aligned. It was purpose made for books, so there were no ragged edges left.
At least now I know that I'm not alone in my quest. Like you, I couldn't bear to just throw my library away because I know that as soon as I did, I'll need some tidbit of information from the books. My method started out the same as you using a box-cutter to cut away the covers and cut into sections. That wasn't very time efficient especially when the family chuckled at my quest. I finally purchased a simple low-cost paper cutter. I was able to trim all of the binding glue off the pages and provide a clean, consistent margin for the entire book and still have most of the margin left. I still had to break the books into small stacks of 10-15 sheets; but the margins were all consistent and wouldn't jam in the scanner. I've used both PaperPort and Adobe Acrobat for OCR. If the pages were all straight, then PaperPort would produce a better "text" PDF where it would consider the scan as more text than image and resulted in a smaller PDF. If the pages need straightening, then I always used Adobe which had a much better algorithm. Like you, scanning both sides and then merging was a much better approach especially when pages were missed in the scan. I had the liberty of using the iText library to craft a very simple program to stitch/reverse/combine the PDF files based on the scan particulars. When I scanned data books, I had a lot of text bleed-through from the other side of the page which confused the OCR. Did you have the same issue. Were you able to resolve it or live with it like me?