To unstick the pages of a water-damaged or worn-out book, a very thin sheet of a hard material must be used. Using this sheet, force has to be applied gradually, starting from the inside of the pages and progressing outwards.
- Get a thin, hard sheet
To apply adequate force to separate the pages, get a thin sheet of a strong, rigid material. A file cover, plastic folder, thin spatula or steel foot ruler will work.
- Choose a starting point and apply gentle force
To effectively unstick two stuck pages, choose the starting point that has the most surface area in contact with the thin sheet that you're using. For instance, pages stuck around the corner should be dealt with by inserting the sheet between the pages from the bottom and sliding up gradually. The process must be carried out very carefully, keeping a close eye on both pages to ensure that the force does not tear the pages apart.
- Gauge your progress, and add steam if required
If the pages are stuck very firmly together and have a high likelihood of tearing if you apply more force, steam the pages by placing the book above a pan of hot, boiling water. This softens the pages and allows them to separate with less force.