What do I do if my first edition book gets wet or damaged?

edition book

edition book

First edition books are precious and expensive. Hence, you should learn how to take the best care of them at all times. However, the first edition books you have can get damaged due to many different reasons. For example, they can get subjected to water damage. Most of the people don’t have a clear understanding of what they should do after their first edition books are subjected to water damage. That’s where we decided to share this guide so that you will be able to proceed and save the first edition books that you have in your collection.

What to do if the first edition book is soaking wet? 

After a water damage, you will notice that the first edition books are soaking wet. In such a situation, you will need to take a look at the following steps and recover the books accordingly. There is no need to lose hope in the books you have because the following steps will be able to help you with getting positive results. 

Shake the books and remove excessive water 

The very first thing you have to do is to shake your soaking wet books. Along with that, you can remove excessive water trapped in the books. You will need to make sure that you are shaking the books after taking them into a dry area. This will help you to ensure that you don’t cause any further damage to the books. You will need to shake the books as much as you can.

Wipe down the cover

After you shake and remove excessive water, you can wipe the cover of the book. This is where you can use a paper towel or a dry rag. You will need to do the job gently. While you do this, you need to ensure that the pages of your rare book are wet and weak. Therefore, you should not apply too much pressure. If you apply too much pressure, you will end up causing further damages to the books. Therefore, you should gently wipe the books and remove excessive water.

Lay down some paper towel sheets

You will need to lay down some paper towel sheets and place the books on top o them so that you will be able to get them to absorb water. We strongly recommend using paper towels as they don’t contain any dyes. Don’t use newspapers or any other material as they can cause further damage to the wet books. 

Place all the water damaged rare books upright

Next, you will need to place the water damaged rare books upright. Then you will be able to allow the water in the book to go to the base. If you are having hardcover rare books, this is something that you can easily do. If not, you will be able to use some weights and support the books to remain in the upright position.

Place rags or paper towel sheets between the pages

The next thing you should do is to save the individual pages. This is where you should place some paper towels in between the individual pages. If your book has hundreds of pages, you might not be able to place the sheets between each and every page. However, you will still be able to place them between a few pages, so that you can enhance the drying speed.

After following these steps, you can allow the books to remain in a standing position. Along with that, you can get the books to dry completely. Just allow time to dry the books and you will end up getting positive results.

Steps for saving a damp book 

If your rare book is not soaking wet, but it is only damp, you can follow these steps for saving the water-damaged books. The effectiveness of these steps is proven, and you will be able to follow the steps and get the job done correctly.

Open the books and keep them in an upright position

As the very first thing, you should open the water-damaged books and keep them in the upright position. As mentioned earlier, this is something that you can easily do for hardcover books. Or else, you can use weights to keep the book well-balanced and in an upright position.

Fan out all the pages

After standing the books in an upright position, you should fan out the pages in it. You will need to make sure that you don’t open any of the books beyond 60 degrees. That’s because there is a risk for the pages to be pulled and damaged. You just need to make sure that you are keeping some tiny gaps between the pages and fan them accordingly.

Ensure proper flow of air 

You will need to ensure the proper flow of air in the books. That’s because air will be helping you to dry the books. Therefore, you need to keep the book open in a position so that all the pages receive a proper flow of air. On the other hand, you will need to maintain lots of patience as well. This will help you to wait until the books completely dry.

Keep weight on top of the book after it dries 

Once you are done drying the book, you can place a weight on top of it. This will help you to get the water damaged book back into its original condition. Also, make sure that no page is hanging over the others or bent as well.

Final words

Don’t lose hope when your rare first edition books are water damaged. You just need to follow the steps that we recommend, and you will be able to get the books restored back into the original condition. Follow the steps and save your books accordingly.  

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