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How to Repair a Paperback Book That Got Wet


Books are a valuable commodity, not just for the information they contain but for their rarity and quality of craftsmanship. Water damage is common to books and can cause irreversible damage. If the wet book is collected quickly enough, it can be saved from serious water damage with a few steps and the right technique.

Freeze the book as soon as possible. Place the wet book in a plastic bag and place it in a freezer, spine side down, supported so it will not tip over. Online resources indicate the optimal temperature is -15 degrees Fahrenheit, but a conventional freezer will do in a pinch. Leave the book in the freezer overnight.

Open the cover and dry it with a hair dryer. Move the dryer across the surface of the cover, top to bottom and side to side, inside and out.

Dry the first page with the hair dryer using the same technique.

Continue to the next page when the first page is completely dry, using the same technique.

Stop drying, return the book to the plastic bag, and place the bag in the freezer when the rest of the book starts to thaw. You can begin again once the remaining wet pages have frozen again.

Dry each page individually with a hair dryer, placing the book in a plastic bag and returning it to the freezer when the rest of the book begins to thaw.

Tip
  • Freezing the book while it is still wet prevents further damage by stopping the water from dissolving the paper. Keep the book frozen at all times except the portion you are drying.
Items you will need
Wet paperback book
Freezer
Plastic bag
Hair dryer
Bookmark
About the Author

This article was written by the Pen & the Pad team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about Pen & the Pad, contact us

Photo Credits
  • waterlogged book image by Joseph Chiapputo from Fotolia.com