Drying a Wet Book

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

[ezcol_1half]Interleafing a Wet Book[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]As a Preservation Librarian, I should know better than to read a book while taking a spa bath. Last week I did just that and dropped my book into the tub. Oops! Luckily I caught it before it was entirely submerged.[/ezcol_1half_end]

[ezcol_1half]Pressing the Damp Book[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]

I took immediate action. I grabbed some copy paper from our home printer and folded the paper in half and interleafed every few pages to start soaking up the water. Then I put the book into a “press” by using a cutting board and cast iron skillets. The press helps by putting a little pressure on the book to blot up the water and to keep the pages somewhat flat. The next day I pulled out the wet interleafing paper and inserted new but in slightly different spots.[/ezcol_1half_end]

[ezcol_1half]Drying Interleafing Paper[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]I laid out the wet interleafing paper to dry so I could re-use. I repeated this process over several days.[/ezcol_1half_end]

[ezcol_1half]Dried Book Showing a Little Edge Curl[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]The book is now dry but does show some evidence that it had been wet. If the book in question had been a book of value to me, I would have put the book in a zip-lock bag, stuck it in the freezer, and later taken it to a conservator.[/ezcol_1half_end]

 

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