Arts and Entertainment
A wet book needs to be dry.
If not treated quickly, water can cause pages to tear, stick together, and even grow mold.Fortunately, the world's librarians and record-keepers have developed several helpful techniques for drying wet books.If your book is completely soaked, moderately wet, or just slightly damp, it is possible to dry it out in a few days or weeks.You can see Step 1 below.
Step 1: Excess water may be thrown from the book.
Depending on how wet the book is, the exact steps you take to dry it will be different.If your book is completely soaked, you'll want to remove as much water from the outside of the book as you can.If you want to remove liquid from the book, shake it gently.You can wipe the outside of the cover with a rag or paper towel.Don't open the book yet.The pages will be very delicate if it's dripping wet.Remove the water that's on the outside of the book.
Step 2: Place a few paper towel sheets on the floor.
Next, lay down a few sheets of absorbent paper towel in a dry area.Pick a place where the book won't be disturbed as it dries.This spot can be outside if you live in a dry climate.Dew that forms in the morning can ruin any progress you've made, so you won't want to leave your book out overnight.Dry rags can work if you don't have plain white paper towels.When wet, don't use dyed paper towels.
Step 3: Stand the book up.
Put your wet book on top of your paper towels and it will stand upright.This should be easy for hardcover books.Simply open the covers and allow the book to stand on its own.This can be difficult for paperbacks.If you need to keep your book upright, use bookends or weights.
Step 4: There are paper towel sheets in the covers.
Take two paper towel sheets and put one inside each cover.The internal pages of the book should be between the towels and the text block.You should not disturb the pages when you do this.The text block should be in a mass.When the book dries, the pages can be crumpled.
Step 5: The book should be allowed to sit.
Allow the book to sit in its standing position when you arrange your paper towels.The absorbent material of paper towels should be able to pull water out of the book.You can put dried sponges underneath the paper towels that the book is resting on to aid in absorption.
Step 6: The paper towels should be replaced as needed.
Every hour or so, check on your book's progress.As the paper towels pull water out of the book, they'll become saturated, unable to hold any more liquid.If you notice that your paper towels are getting saturated, remove them and replace them with dry towels.If you're using a sponge, put it under the paper towels.Don't forget to keep an eye on your book.Within 24 to 48 hours, mold can start to grow on wet paper.Continue until the book no longer drips or leaves puddles, then pick it up."Drying Somewhat Wet Books" is the next thing you want to do.
Step 7: Paper towels should be placed every 30 pages.
If your book is dry and not dripping wet, it is safe to gently flip through the pages without damaging them.Put absorbent paper towel sheets between the pages of your book as you flip through it.Place paper towel sheets between the text block and the cover.It's possible to cause the spine of the book to bend backwards if you place too many paper towels in this way.If this becomes a problem, you may need to space your paper towels more widely.
Step 8: The book can be placed on its side.
Put the book down on its side to dry, rather than standing it upright, after you've finished laying paper towel sheets.The paper towel sheets should draw the water away from the inside of the book.It can take some time, so be patient.If you want to speed the process up, make sure your book is in a location where dry air can circulate continuously.A dehumidifier can help if you live in a humid climate.It's usually enough to open a few windows or turn on a fan.
Step 9: The paper towels should be replaced as needed.
As it dries, you'll want to check on your book.If you notice that your paper towels are getting saturated with liquid, remove them and insert new ones every few pages.If you want the book to dry evenly, don't lay down paper towels between the pages.The book should be flipped over when you replace the paper towels.The pages will not "ruffling up" as they dry.
Step 10: As the book dries, keep it square.
They stiffen as paper and cardboard is dry.If your book is lying at a slanted angle as it dries, it can become permanently damaged.The book should be perfectly square as it dries.Heavy bookends or weights can be used to hold the edges of the book in place.Your paper towels will no longer become saturated once your book is dry.You will want to go to "Drying Slightly Damp Books" at this point.
Step 11: Put the book upright and open it.
Stand your book up vertically to dry it.This is easy if your book is hardbound, but difficult if you have a paperback.Heavy weights or bookends can be used to keep the book upright.Open the book with a moderate amount.The book should not fall over before proceeding.
Step 12: Go away from the pages.
If you don't open the book's cover, gently fan the pages out.If possible, arrange the pages so that there is a small gap between them.None of the pages should hang at a diagonal angle or flop against each other.
Step 13: There is dry air in the room.
When your book's pages are evenly fanned out, let it dry in its upright position.To speed the drying process, make sure the room is relatively dry.If the air is humid, use a fan or a dehumidifier, or open a few windows to create a draft.Look at the edges of the book's pages closely if you use a fan or natural breeze.The movement of the air shouldn't cause the pages to flap in the wind, as this can cause them to be ruffled and puffed up when they dry.Be patient.It can take days or weeks for the book to dry completely.If you want to know how quickly you're making progress, check your book frequently.
Step 14: To flatten, place under weight.
After you've allowed your book to dry, no more water should remain in it's pages.Even if you follow the instructions carefully, the book won't be completely flat once it's dry.The paper used for most books' pages is fragile and can warp and degrade as it dries, leaving the book with a "crumpled" appearance when it's finally dry.Thankfully, this can be fixed.Place a heavy weight on top of your dry book and allow it to sit for several days to a week.This can reduce the "crumpled" effect that drying can cause.Make sure your book's edges are square as it lays under the weight.Don't allow the weight to sit on top of the book in a way that makes it hard to read.
Step 15: Small books are hung over a fishing line.
While the methods above should work well for most books, small, thin paperbacks can be dried with a shortcut that requires less effort than the fanned pages method.If your paperback is very wet, dry it as you normally would until it reaches a point where it's just damp, and paper towels should no longer become saturated with water.At this point, string a fishing line, a thin wire, or a piece of string between two vertical surfaces and hang the book over it so that it opens downward.If you're indoors, use a fan to circulate the air.The book should be dry in a few days.If you're hanging your paperback outside, don't let it stay out overnight.The book can be damaged by the morning Dew.Don't hang books that are wet.If the book is wet, the fishing line or wire can tear it under its own weight.
Step 16: There are separation sheets between the wet and dry pages.
When books with glossy pages become wet, the situation is more urgent than with ordinary books.If the pages are allowed to dry, the glossy coating can be dissolved and turned into a sticky substance.Place sheets of wax paper between the wet pages to separate them.As the sheets become wet, remove and replace them.It's important to separate the wet and dry pages.If two wet pages are allowed to touch as they dry, they can become stuck together in such a way that no one can repair them.Plain white paper towels will work if you don't have waxed paper handy.
Step 17: Remove sheets and fan them out to dry.
Remove the separating sheets from the book when the pages are damp and stand it upright.Two bookends or heavy objects can be used to support it.The pages should be Fanned out to a width of no more than 60.The book should be dry in this position.If you can, open a window or use a fan to circulate the air around the book.Dehumidifiers can be helpful if the air is humid.
Step 18: To prevent sticking, monitor frequently.
Even though the pages are damp, there is still a risk that they will stick together.If you can, check the book once every half hour or so.Carefully read the book's pages.If you see any beginning to stick together, separate them and allow the book to dry.The book will dry out eventually.There may be unavoidable instances of pages sticking together.If you're using a fan, you won't want the book's pages to flutter in the moving air, as this can lead to a crumpled or ruffled appearance once it dries.
Step 19: The book should be frozen if it is short on time.
If you have a wet book with glossy pages on your hands and you don't have the time or materials to separate the pages at your disposal, let the book sit.Place it in a freezer-safe plastic bag, seal it, and put it into the freezer.It won't do much to dry the book, but it will give you time to get everything you need.Before putting the book in the freezer, make sure to put it in a freezer bag.The book won't stick to the freezer or other objects if you do this.
Step 20: Slowly thaw frozen books.
If you want to dry your frozen book, remove it from the freezer and put it in a room temperature bag.Allow the book to thaw slowly within its bag, which can take from a few hours up to several days.Remove the book from the bag and dry it after the ice is completely melted.Don't allow a book to sit in its bag past the point that it thaws.Leaving your book in a damp space encourages mold growth.
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