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Topic: wavy pages = water damage?

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Subject: wavy pages = water damage?
Date Posted: 4/2/2009 12:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/3/2008
Posts: 541
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I thought there used to be something in the conditions guidelines about this, but I can't find it anymore.

Are wavy pages always due to water damage?

I just got a book with wavy pages.  It also has a stain, so it's unpostable anyhow, I'm just curious as to whether the wavy pages are also an issue.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,221
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Wavy pages often have nothing to do with water damage. Many newly printed MMP are now having wavy pages. If the book is wavy throughtout, the texture isn't heavy and brittle, and there are no stains showing where the water damage stopped, odds are there is no water damage.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2009
Posts: 154
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 I recieved a book that was wavy last week. I asked this same question and was told no, it's most likely not water damage, that a lot of new books look this way due to  poorer quality paper than used to be used.. I checked in Target the other day, and sure enough SEVERAL of the new paperbacks were wavy. The one I bought is actually one of them.

I'm going with, if there is no staining and the pages are not stiff, it's not water damage. However, I'm not sure what to do about posting books this way because someone could simply assume it is water damage and mark WRAP.


I wish PBS would update the help docs in this situation, maybe give a little better description of what exactly water damage looks like.......Between this wavy page thing causing the to post and not to past debate in my headand my newfound knowledge you can ask credits for unpostables (I learned in the other fourm), my head is spinning! lol

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2008
Posts: 4,470
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There have been several threads about this as more and more new books are being published with cheap papers or bound in such a way that some sections in brand new books are now having wavy pages. That's probably why they took it out of the Guidelines. Do a search for "wavy pages." :-)

You can usually tell a book has water damage if it doesn't have tell-tale stain lines, if the pages are stiff & crunchy, in addition to the being wavy. Water damaged pages usually have a different feel and texture that is no longer smooth vs. pages that just happen to be wavy.

Last Edited on: 4/2/09 1:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/2/2009 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Yeah, the pages feel different because they absorbed water or liquid - sometimes a watermark isn't visible.  But you can tell by feel.  If all are most of the pages are uniformly wavy then most likely the paper has been in a humid environment and/or is just the cheap paper they now use.


Date Posted: 4/2/2009 3:01 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 182
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I had one recently that I received that the first 4-6 pages were wavy. There was no stain, no obvious water damage at all, nothing else wrong with the book. I checked the help and decided it was ok. Since it was heavily wish listed, I sent it out when I was done, but will gladly give the credit back if the receiver believes it to not be suitable. There are always going to be those books that it is going to depend on the receiver. I always give the receiver the benefit of the doubt and if they are not happy, I refund the credit. After all, it is just $3.00 to buy another one. I will just skip a cup of coffee.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 3:31 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2009
Posts: 53
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I had a book that I did not put on my shelf because of wavy pages.  The book did not have any water damage but it had been stored with a pencil in it.  When the pencil was removed wavy pages resulted.   I know that is a rare occurance but I would go with what the others have said.  No stain, no stiff heavy pages - then no water damage despite wavy pages.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/26/2006
Posts: 318
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I'm reading a book right now that looks perfect on the outside, but on the inside it has "thumb like impressions" on the left and right hand side that I haven't quite figured out.  I got the book here, but I may just put it down as one of my unpostables. 

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 5:49 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Susan- if the book is a MMPB or cheap paperback, those thumb like impressions could just be thumb impressions from the person holding the book and the cheap/thin pages stretch alittle due to body warmth.  I've seen this happen with brand new MMPB after they've been sent out to patrons. I know they have only had one read.  I would say its still postable and not water.

Loads of new MMPB are coming in with wavy pages, I had the book receiver show me several copies of various different books all from the same publisher with wavy pages.. we thought it was due to the box getting caught in rain but nope the vendor said that is how the books came to them.

Date Posted: 4/3/2009 8:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/26/2006
Posts: 318
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OK...maybe I will take a chance and post it...because I'm almost 99% certain it's not water damage, it's just weird wavy pages :)

Date Posted: 4/3/2009 10:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2008
Posts: 687
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i bought a case of books- all the same- and every singly one of them had VERY wavy pages. the waves were lateral. it seemed like a spine-binding issue. i know it was not water damage. the books were all wrapped in impervious (took me 5 minutes to open it up) plastic before being placed in the box. the spind also seems really tight- like the pressure from the tight binding is causing the waves

Date Posted: 4/4/2009 12:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,399
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Date Posted: 4/6/2009 8:11 AM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2007
Posts: 745
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As a person who works in the printing industry, I hear rumors that more printing of large volume items (like paperbacks) are being printed in China. Even with shipping, it is cheaper to print the books there and ship them back to the US. That might be where the cheap paper is coming from. The problem is, after placing an order, it could take 3-4 months to get books back from the printer in China, so not all companies are using this route.



Last Edited on: 4/6/09 8:12 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/6/2009 9:33 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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I recently sent a childrens paperback with slightly wavy pages.  There was no water damage.  The wavyness was in the inside toward the spine, with no wavyness on the outer edges of the paper.  It looked to me as if the binding was stitched a little too tightly causing a slight gathering effect near the spine.  I was hoping the receive would not think it was water damage.  It was received just fine with no complaints

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 9:45 AM ET
Member Since: 4/3/2008
Posts: 541
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Chuck, I find your post really interesting.

To me it would be kind of nuts to ship books from China, because boxes of books tend to be really heavy. Also, where I work there are two supplies we need that have to be ordered from China, and we literally have to place the next order as soon as we get the current order in if we're going to get it before we run out of product.

I guess I'm just a little disappointed because books are so heavy I thought they were the one thing I could count on being made at least in North America somewhere, if not the US.