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Topic: Wavy Pages

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mistie -
Subject: Wavy Pages
Date Posted: 8/10/2011 3:01 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,024
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I had always thought water damage was fairly distinctive, until yesterday. I was sitting in the car at working reading during some downtime. I was reading a new MMP, I left it on the dash for about an hour and a half while we went to lunch. I cam back to find a book with wavy pages - so much so that it I had received it via PBS, I would be considering RWAP for water damage. It wasn't even a humid day either, and the air had not been running in the van. It must just have been the heat that caused this. I checked the book again today later - yep, still wavy pages. It must be poor quality paper.

My only point is to not assume wavy pages equals water damage.

FWIW - I have decided not to post this book when I finish it. It would be asking for a RWAP.

Date Posted: 8/10/2011 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,209
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I would guess that leaving it on the dash heated the glue enought that its shifted and the pages are no longer laying flat. I would put it back it the car and let it get warm again, then put it under a stack of heavy books to cool down to see if you get the glue back into place again.

Date Posted: 8/10/2011 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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A lot of other members are noticing the same things with the same concern, that if they post the book it will be RWAPed for water damage. I will iron, on a low-ish setting, books that get like that from spending the night on our 3 season enclosed porch, and it works just fine.

You are right though -- poor quality paper gets wavy and does not equate to water damage.

Subject: THAT would explain a paperback I got last summer from Texas!
Date Posted: 8/10/2011 5:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 74
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It arrived looking like what I would call water damage, but yet...not quite like water damage, in that ALL the pages were ..wavy in the same way, thru out book. Water damage usually leaves discoloration. Now I think it must have been a heat issue, since the book was on "cheap" paper.


Thank you SO much for posting this discovery, I am sure it will save a few headaches.

Date Posted: 8/10/2011 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,041
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I watched a book acquire wavy pages once ... I was reading it in the airport in Wash DC .... started out completely normal and after an hour of reading, it looked like I had been reading it in a sauna.

I do not believe that humidity = water damage (unless you have literally been reading in a sauna), so I sent it out anyway.

I don't RWAP for wavy pages when the book has them consistently, and there is no staining or texture change in the paper. I've seen too many new books at the bookstore come off the shelf with wavy pages to believe that wavy pages, in and of themselves, prove water damage. I have more than a few books with vaguely wavy pages in them that I know for a fact have never touched a drop of water.

I have no problem with sending them out, though.

YA books also have the cheapest bindings that I have ever seen. You can hardly pick up a paperback YA book without seeing wavy pages in it and cracking the binding as you open it to read.

Date Posted: 8/10/2011 6:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,984
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 Water damage usually leaves discoloration.

I've noticed a subtle texture change in the way the paper feels for water damage as well.  Otherwise for me, I don't count it as water damage.   


YA books also have the cheapest bindings that I have ever seen. You can hardly pick up a paperback YA book without seeing wavy pages in it and cracking the binding as you open it to read.

Isn't that the truth!  This is the bane of my reading exsistance, since I mostly read YA.  It's why I prefer hardbacks most of time, even if they're not necessarily "keeper" books. 

Subject: wavy pages
Date Posted: 8/10/2011 8:46 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2009
Posts: 232
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I just received the new Dark hunter book- brand new in hard cover form.  When I opened it for the first time, there was  a very distinct wave that went from top to bottom in the middle of every single page of the book. My first thought would have been water damage, if i didn't know better.  Expensive book; cheap paper.

Date Posted: 8/10/2011 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Like Melanie suggests, some members report success by laying a wavy book flat and stacking heavy books (or something) on top of it for a couple days.

Date Posted: 8/11/2011 1:22 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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With whatever sort of paper they use these days, even certain types of light can lead to warping of pages. You can see this in bookstores, as books on the top shelves sometimes exhibit wavy pages, and even some discoloration, while books on lower shelves do not. In this instance, I would have to agree that the heat likely effected the binding glue in some way. I agree with the proposed solution as well. Depending on the specific problem involved, pressing books for a few days (or weeks) can often yield miraculous results.

Date Posted: 8/11/2011 1:31 AM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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I had several new books when I was in a hotel room in Portland, OR recently. I just have them in there for one night. When I looked at them in the morning all of them had wavy pages. The night before they had been perfectly straight. I brought them home to dry Sacramento. Didn't take long for the pages to straighten back out.
Date Posted: 8/11/2011 7:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2008
Posts: 748
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The paper being used in a lot of new books comes waved or waves easily with only slight fluctuations in humidity, light, etc.  It really isn't the same as water damage which I believe is also discolored.