How to Rescue a Water-Damaged Book: A Short, Handy Primer (video)

We all know how to use the rice trick to recover a waterlogged gadget (hint: oatmeal works better), but have you ever had to revive a book from a watery demise?

The Syracuse University Libraries published the above visual primer where they share a few of the tricks – some obvious, some less so –  they use to repair library books that have been returned in less than pristine condition.

The various methods to back to new – or at least extremely close – include blotting with paper towels or air-drying to using a freezer or a dehumidifier. The lattr is not mentioned in this video, but I have one for my basement and it works okay for drying out paper books.


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Javi20 October, 2017

    Interesting… does it work with a kindle Paperwhite? 😛

  2. Rachel21 October, 2017

    Wow! I had no idea you could bring a book back to life like that. I wish I had know about this before I ruined my book by the pool on holiday recently. Question – would the dehumidifier work better than the fan? Or equally as good?

  3. Katherine Goins1 November, 2017

    How about papers that a naughty cat urinated on ??

    1. Nate Hoffelder1 November, 2017

      I don’t think you will be able to kill the smell, so what I would do is dry them out, feed them through a scanner, and then pitch the paper.


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