Host David Suzuki and narrator Angela Fusco present this program on the deterioration of paper in old books around the world. At least one-third of the world's books are turning into particles and dust as they become embrittled. Paper from 500 years ago is in better condition than 150-year-old paper because the original production process did not involve the use of alum. Alum reacts with moisture in paper to create an acid that causes yellowing and embrittling. The earliest paper-making techniques are described and recreated. This program describes various methods of book preservation, including re-binding, photocopying, de-acidification and creating micro-fiche copies.