One day last week, I was reading outside (as I am wont to do in the summertime!). A series of events transpired that led to my book being left out on a chair in the yard, which fact I didn’t realize until much later in the evening, after it had been raining for about half an hour.
I ran out to rescue it, but it was pretty wet. The first third of the pages were wet only an inch or less all around the margins, the middle third was still dry, but at the back of the book, the water had seeped and spread a good two inches in on all sides, and the pages were, if not saturated, very close to it.
I gently dried the covers, but really didn’t know what to do about the rest. However, a quick internet search on “how to dry a wet book” took me to The University of Delware Library page on exactly that. I followed their advice for drying a book that is partially wet, which meant interleaving the pages with absorbent paper (paper towel worked very well), changing out the paper once it was wet, and then moving on at the appropriate times to the steps for drying a damp book and then a final air-drying step.
As you can see from the pictures below, this method worked very well. The book ended up only slightly distorted and still completely readable. I highly recommend this method if you find yourself facing a similar dilemma!