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Subject: water damage?
Date Posted: 10/22/2009 1:33 AM ET
Member Since: 7/11/2007
Posts: 25
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I received a book that has wavy pages.

Not way bad more like someone was reading the book in the bathtub and the humidity got to it...

Both top and bottom of about half the pages of the book.

The package it came in was not wet, and the book was wrapped up in a plastic bag.

I have also heard of publisher wavy pages. what do those look like?

Should I mark it damaged or let it slide.

Date Posted: 10/22/2009 1:51 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Recently a rash of books have had wavy pages.   Something the publishers or printers changed.  Paper quallty?  Boxing while still damp?  Who knows.  They were wavy while new at the bookstores across the country.

Water damage to me is a change in texture.  A roughness.  There will often be a water line at the edge of the damage. To me, that is different than the swelling that comes with wear and humidity.

Date Posted: 10/22/2009 8:04 AM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2007
Posts: 6,435
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I agree with Emily--if it seems like humidity, it's probably humidity and that isn't the same as "water damage."  I think how wavy a book gets from humidity does seem to have a lot to do with the type of paper used.

Date Posted: 10/22/2009 8:32 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,926
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I too agree with Emily, but I live in FL - home of humidity (and books with the "humidity wave")! Unfortunately, it often doesn't take much. It's possible for me to buy a book, especially a pb, and a few days later, it's well on its way to wavy and the pages have expanded a bit as well, it looks as if it's been read by at least one person, often befoe I get to it. :-(  Those of us in these humid areas appreciate a bit of slack... 

Date Posted: 10/22/2009 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,220
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Typically the poor quality paper waviness is more uniform and it doesn't stiffen the pages. Same with humidity. What I do is lay the book on its side and press the book flat with my hand. Anything but water damage should flatten out and disappear pretty easily. If humidity has stiffened pages enough that they won't press flat again, then its reached water damage in my opinion. 

Date Posted: 10/22/2009 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2006
Posts: 16
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Melanie D., says it well, I think. Good way to try to tell the difference.

The condition might be reduced by (1) carefully microwaving the book for a short time on a low setting, then

(2) storing the book at the bottom of a heavy stack of other books for a time.

You will want to repeat the heating in small increment until the book is warm to the touch. This method works quite well for cocked spines, and might help with wavy pages.

The microwaving will selectively heat glues in the spine more quickly so be careful. DO NOT put books with metallic ink / gilding in the microwave. And look out for staples in the spine and such like. If there is a stray paper clip inside the book you're gonna be notified of it reeeeeal fast.

Under very good natural light and with the use of a magnifying glass, you will be able to see very faint boundary staining on a very high percentage of water damaged pages.

Date Posted: 10/22/2009 12:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,125
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If you need a magnifying glass to see the damage to a book, then I wouldn't mark it RWAP. JMO.

Date Posted: 10/22/2009 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2007
Posts: 6,435
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IME, real water/liquid damage is usually pretty obvious.  As Melanie described, there isn't just waviness, there is a stiffness to the pages. 

Date Posted: 10/22/2009 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 1,564
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I have seen brand new books on the store shelves with wavy pages.  They are using such thin cheap paper these days.  Water damage is usually pretty obvious and there will usually be some faint staining around the edge of the damaged area as well.

Date Posted: 10/22/2009 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2006
Posts: 16
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Yes, Sara P, I agree. At least I will when I stop laughing (at myself). :-)

OK, so I am a collector, avid reader and occasional seller of books. In two out of three of those categories I will use the magnifying glass. For PBS? Nope.



Date Posted: 10/22/2009 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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Date Posted: 10/24/2009 12:34 AM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 1,430
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I have also had quite a few books with wavy pages and it was obvious that there was no "water" damage.  I have also had books that had a tear drop of water on the edge and I ignore those.  It could have been from a tear or a rain drop.  However if it is big with stains, I do not want anything to do with it.

Date Posted: 10/24/2009 1:02 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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I would say that if it were humidity wavy, it would be consistant with the whole book, not just portions. I've never seen humidity just be "Both top and bottom of about half the pages of the book." It's all or nothing.