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The books are real books, not just the front cover for show.
In 1920's when a book was binded the pages were still stuck together, so when somebody has read the book they would have to tear the pages apart hence leaving jagged edges.
The owl-eyed man notices that the books have not been read at all, this is the irony in the books, none of them have been read or even opened. These books represent another false side to Gatsby's persona.....