Step 1: First Aid
- Wet books are fragile, hold it flat with two hands and do not shake it.
- Blot - do NOT rub - the wet pages with old tee shirts or cloth towels.
- Careful blotting the cover as dye will transfer to your towel.
- Stand the book up on an upside-down plastic mesh basket
- Fan the cover and pages out in a warm, dry area
- The plastic mesh helps air flow and supports the book
- Sunlight and a fan will speed the drying
- Allow a day or two to dry
Step 2: Cover and Flyleaf
Sometimes a hardcover book is so wet that the cover falls off.
This can actually be okay since it speeds the drying of the pages.
The cover has four parts: front and back cardboard covers, a cardboard back (spine) and a cloth covering.
You will see that the block of pages for older hardcover books has a mesh gauze glued to the back.
The mesh is then glued to the inside covers of the book - not to the spine.
Then heavy paper called a flyleaf or endleaf is glued over the mesh, and the inside of the cover, and to the first and last pages.
After the cover and pages are dry, use a flexible, water-based, craft glue like Aleene's Tacky Glue to glue all the pieces back together.
Step 3: Final Flattening
- After drying the pages will be wrinkled and the covers may be bent
- Put a wood board and 10 pounds (5 kilos) of weights on top
- After a week or so, the book will be somewhat flatter
- You can just store it flat on a book shelf under a pile of heavy books
- If you are in a hurry just start using it without flattening it