East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Salvaging water-damaged books


Two weeks after spending a weekend in fear of the river coming here and soaking all my books, I received a second-hand volume I had ordered a while back, and it turned out to be water-damaged – and not “very fine” as the vendor claimed. The pages are warped and some of them are sticking together.
Oh, drat.

The book is only a reading copy, sure, so the warped pages are not a real problem. But this being a photo book, the pages sticking together are a real problems.

So I started looking around, and found out that the best way for un-sticking the pages is to steam them, and then use a very thin and rigid object – say a sheet of plastic file cover or such – and push it gently between the pages.
Which is what I will try and do, hoping not to cause more damage.

As for the book, I’m quite eager to be able to read it properly – it is called Ghosts, by Sian Evans, and it was published by the British National Trust. It is a collection of haunted places, with beautiful black and white photographs, and reports from national Trust employees about their experiences in the places themselves.
Perfect Christmas-time reading.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

2 thoughts on “Salvaging water-damaged books

  1. I certainly hope you get the pages unstuck and are able to look at the photos. Good luck!


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