>just the pertinent bits<
Focus your efforts on your most important books. Assign the lowest priority to books that can be easily replaced or have little meaning to you.
Water-damaged books can be very heavy and fragile. Use both hands when picking up one. Transport books to the recovery site in a plastic crate (milk crates are great) or wire basket. Do not use a paper container, e.g., cardboard box.
Keep books closed until you are ready to work on them. The goal is to create a slow drying process that allows recovery. Temperature and relative humidity are critical. Work on books only in areas that are dry, cool and comfortable (warm or hot is very bad), and have plenty of air circulation. Never attempt to dry books in an oven or microwave or with a hair dryer or iron.
Dry large volumes flat, smaller volumes upright. Begin by placing sheets of absorbent material (blotters, plain newsprint, paper towels, etc.) between the pages. If the page count is high, you have to do this part of the drying process in several steps. Beware of adding too many sheets and destroying a book’s binding. Change the absorbent material as it becomes wet.
When wet has been reduced to damp, stand the book upright on its driest edge and fan the pages. If you have fans, make certain the book’s spine or binding, not the open pages, is facing the breeze. When the book is dry but still cool to the touch, lay it flat and put a small weight on it. Check it twice a day for mold growth. Remove any mold you find immediately.
Books printed on coated paper, e.g., most coffee table and illustrated volumes, need to be treated differently. The coated, smooth, shiny paper will stick together when wet. In order to avoid this, insert a piece of wax paper instead of absorbent paper between each page in the drying process.
Freeze any books that you cannot air dry within the first two days of your recovery operation. Wrap the books in wax paper and pack them spine down in a sturdy plastic or wire container. Defrost and work on the books as time permits.
While I know there's duplicate info in the above three posts, some have info the others don't.
And I apologize for nuking this topic with posts here, but after losing ALL my books to Katrina, I had to get sharp FAST to try and save my old notebooks (which, not being something I grabbed at the local Waldens, took presidence over other things after the Great Cataclysm.)
So seeing a sword-brother in trouble made me jump in with both feet.
(Deuce, please keep us advised)
Edited by Tex, 01 April 2012 - 05:01 AM.