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Topic: Wavy pages -- that's water damage, right?

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Subject: Wavy pages -- that's water damage, right?
Date Posted: 5/26/2009 7:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2008
Posts: 497
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This may be an obvious question, but if a book has wavy pages, that's water dagmage, right? The book is in good condition, except for the 20 pages in the middle where the top is wavy. Is there something other than water that causes that?

I received this book today, and wondering if I should mark it RWAP.

Date Posted: 5/26/2009 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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No. Wavy pages do not always mean water damage. Many books are wavy brand new these days. Some are waved due to a clip or something applied to the book for too long.  Typically with liquid damage a stain can be seen where the water stopped and/or the damaged part of of the pages take on a different feel, more crispy and stiff. Usually a small section of the book being that way will indicate damage. What I usually do is press the book closed with both hands, if it is just a paper or bind issue, the pages will all lay flat together pretty easily, if they still show waviness with light pressure applied it is most likely liquid damage.

Date Posted: 5/26/2009 8:00 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2007
Posts: 304
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Are there water stains on it too? There may not be and it could still be ater damage but wavy pages can also mean cheap paper. They have been making paper of poor quality in recent years. It could judt be that. Can you take a pic and post it here?

Last Edited on: 5/26/09 8:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/26/2009 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2008
Posts: 497
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How do I post a picture?

I see what could maybe be a stain. It doesn't feel different, though. With pressure, I still see the waves. I could see this going either way.

It's interesting (to me, anyway) that I'm debating this -- I would never post this. I think I am a much pickier poster than I am an acceptor. I'm inclined to let it go, as I am passing this book along to my dad anyway :)

Date Posted: 5/26/2009 8:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Humidity can do it. I've seen them that way new in bookstores. One will have wavy pages and the one next to it won't. There it may depend on where it was packed in the box, and what kind of weather it was shipped through. Some people have said that leaving the book in dry conditions will remove the wave.

Usually if I feel a page with liquid damage I can feel the page as rough, or crispy. (In one case, oily) It damages the texture of the paper in some cases, and in others you mostly see the stain but can feel the rough paper.

You can post a picture to another site, then post the link here. But I've found liquid damage very hard to capture. Unless the stain is pretty dark, it can be hard to see even in pictures.

Date Posted: 5/26/2009 10:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2008
Posts: 687
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wavy pages do not always mean water damage... i live in the south and without fail mass market paperbacks have wavy pages as soon as i take them outside to read.

but- they are all wavy- not just a selection.

feel the texture- is there any difference. try holding the pages up to a strong light. get it close. is there a water line??? if so- yes, it is water damage.

i have some books i am afraid to post- i do not want people to think they are water damaged. actually, alot of books...... but for my books it is just good old southern humidity......

Date Posted: 5/26/2009 10:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
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There have been a couple of times recently when I've refused to buy a hardback at Barnes because all of that title had wavy pages.  I hate it when books I know is new!

Date Posted: 5/27/2009 12:05 AM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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refused to buy a hardback at Barnes because all of that title had wavy pages

Yes!  I was just in Borders this evening looking at a book my son wants..of the half dozen copies they had *every* one of them already had wavy pages.  I just could not make myself buy one. 

Date Posted: 5/27/2009 1:05 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Ditto with whoever said something about checking the texture.  Pages that have been wet & dried out usually feel heavier & slightly stiff.  The paper swells when it gets wet and it just feels different from unaffected pages after it dries out.  The rippling we're seeing a lot lately in new MMPs usually looks & feels normal aside from a generally unform rippling.  In most of the ones I've seen, you couldn't tell there was any rippling at all when you look at individual pages, but when the book is closed there's a definite rippling of the pages, either in certain areas, or overall.

Date Posted: 5/27/2009 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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I try not to run the air conditioning much, and I've noticed that a lot of my books' pages are now wavy from the humidity.....with true water damage or a spill, you usually can see the stain's edges, as a PP noted.