Thursday, September 8, 2011

Booking Through Thursday (Disaster!) Flashback...September 2010

         From Booking Through Thursday:
You’ve just dropped your favorite, out-of-print book into a bathtub, ruining it completely … What do you do now?
          I enjoy reading in the, if it dropped I would not panic (panicking just keeps it in the water longer...not good!), I would get the book out of the tub as fast as I could. Hopefully, it would only be partly wet and not submersed and then I'd open it up to let the pages drip out as much as possible, while this was happening I'd look up on the interwebs how to save a book...I'd find this...


      Books and papers that have gotten wet by fire, flood, broken pipe or what-have-you can be recovered. Recovered by the homeowner, without extensive training, and without expensive tools (such as the large-scale freeze-drying unit I've set up). It is time-intensive, and therefore not for the patience-challenged, nor a good idea if you have a whole lot of stuff, but if you've got one or two wet books, and the time to spare, you can get results just about as good as I can.
     The most important thing, upon which everything else hinges, is get the book frozen A.S.A.P.! Once the book dries out, the wrinkles and warping are set, and there's nothing anybody can do about it. But freeze it, and all damage stops. And the book can stay frozen, in stasis, until you're ready to handle it.
     Wrap the book in a U of wax or freezer paper, or in a plastic bag. It's best to freeze it at -15F or lower, so if you can get access to a commercial freezer space, it would be a good idea. If that's not available, a home freezer will do in a pinch, but the results won't be quite as good. If possible, freeze the book spine down, and supported so it won't lean or fall over. If you have to lay it on its side, make sure that the book is fully and flatly supported. If you have anything under it smaller than the book, the book can and will mold itself around that object.

OK. You'll need a home freezer (once frozen commercially, the books can be stored in a home freezer without a problem), and a hair dryer.

The recovery process is fairly simple:
  1. Start with the cover. Open the cover (gently pry loose the inside page, if it's sticking). Run the air stream from the hair dryer (I'd recommend top settings on both heat and fan) over the cover, back and forth, top to bottom, and inside and out. When it feels dry and warm to the touch (not hot!) go on to the inside page. Same procedure. Smooth the page with your hand as you work. Work page to page this way.
  2. When the next page starts to feel wet to your fingers, stop. Stick in a piece of paper as a bookmark, and put the book back in the freezer. Take out the next book (if there's more than one) and start on it. Leave the first book in the freezer for at least a day.
  3. Covers may soak up more moisture than the pages, so you may have to do the cover several times. Just keep the book frozen, and work only so long as it's frozen, quitting when it starts to thaw.

...I'd follow it to the letter...I'd sigh with relief.

Not that I know any of this from experience...or anything...

Feel free to share your answers below, on the original post (above), on FB or on your own blog!

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